SEN. Juan Ponce Enrile authorized his staff to sign documents for the implementation of his projects, a state auditor told the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division on Friday.
Commission on Audit (CoA) auditor Susan Garcia, who supervised and reviewed the special audit on the use of pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009, testified in Janet Lim-Napoles’ petition for bail.
“We confirmed from him the authenticity of the signatures…We sent him a letter sent by liaison officer [to Sen. Enrile’s office],” she said during direct examination by prosecutor Annielyn Medes-Cabelis.
Garcia added that CoA wrote two letters to Enrile to confirm if the signatures on documents related to the implementation of his projects were authentic.
Attached to the letters were all documents they requested from implementing agencies regarding the projects, such as memoranda of agreement (MoA), project proposals and alleged liquidation documents supposedly signed by his deputy chief of staff Jose Evangelista.
Since CoA received no reply to their first letter dated July 11, 2011, they sent a second letter to Enrile dated February 28, 2012, both of which were stamped and received by the Office of the Senate President.
“The response was submitted to us as requested based on our letter, written on the stationary of the Senate President,” she said of the letter dated March 21, 2012.
“It was delivered personally to the office of the Assistant [CoA] Commissioner. There, he confirmed that Reyes and Evangelista are authorized representatives to sign in his behalf and the signs appearing in the documents are those of his authorized representatives,” Garcia said.
She was referring to Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, Enrile’s former chief of staff.
Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, is facing a P172-million plunder charge with Enrile and Reyes.
Enrile is staying at the Philippine national Police General Hospital in Camp Crame in Quezon City pending more medical tests in relation to his plea for hospital arrest, while Napoles and Reyes are detained in the female dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
The other accused, Napoles’ nephew Ronald John Lim and employee John Raymund De Asis, are at large.
Last week, Garcia testified that beneficiaries of a project denied receiving agricultural supplies while suppliers denied providing the supplies.
She said non-government organizations that undertook the projects were predetermined by Enrile’s office as shown by endorsement letters made by the senator and Reyes.
Garcia told the court that Enrile’s pork barrel was channeled to the state-run National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), National Livelihood and Development Corp. (NLDC) and Technology and Resource Center (TRC), which “implemented” the projects through six Napoles-owned NGOs by funding various agricultural packages ranging from livelihood projects to farming materials and implements but their specifications were not reflected in disbursement vouchers or liquidation reports, among other documents.