ASIDE from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles may have also handled transactions involving funds sourced from “congressional insertions” introduced by lawmakers during deliberations on the national budget, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th said on Thursday.
According to Trillanes, congressional insertions are considered as additional funds of the lawmakers on top of their annual PDAF or pork barrel allocations—P200 million per senator and P70 million per congressman—to help them push projects for their constituents.
But unlike the PDAF, which can be monitored and checked, “insertions” are difficult to track down because they are included in the national budget.
Insertions are funds intended for special projects identified by lawmakers that will then be released to government agencies that are supposed to carry out the projects.
In the end, the funds will be divided among the lawmakers who are responsible for pulling off the insertions, government officials and other individuals involved in the racket.
Trillanes said the possibility that Napoles dipped her fingers into the insertions is the reason why it is important for the Senate to recall the businesswoman and find out from her directly if there are lawmakers who are involved in the insertions.
“That is why it is important for us to hear Mrs. Napoles, because regardless if the funds were sourced from PDAF, DAP [disbursement acceleration program]or insertions, the bottom line is how much did [Napoles] give the senator and if (she) has evidence to support it,” Trillanes said.
DAP funds are under the direct control of Malacañang.
Napoles last month met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and expressed her intent to apply for immunity in exchange for revealing all she knows about the pork barrel scam of which she is the alleged mastermind.
She also submitted to de Lima an unsigned affidavit purportedly containing a list of lawmakers who received kickbacks from ghost projects funded by their pork barrel.
“The sooner we can get this issue out, the better. And the sooner we get Mrs. Napoles in the blue ribbon investigation, the better also,” Trillanes said.
But the committee headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd may need more time to decide if it will invite Napoles or not.
”The blue ribbon committee has opted to take the prudent course regarding this matter. We will wait for Secretary de Lima to finish documenting the supposed disclosure of Janet Lim-Napoles,” Guingona said.