Pork barrel scam witness Merlina Suñas told the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division that she transferred P10 million in 2010 to an account supposedly owned by Juan Ng, an alleged dummy of Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Suñas on Monday said she makes withdrawals in accounts of Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (AEPFFI), a non-government organization (NGO) allegedly run by alleged scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles.
“There are times when I make transfers to account of other lawyers such as Juan Ng,” the witness said on direct examination by Prosecutor Jun dela Cruz.
Suñas testified that the transfer of the P10 million was from the account of AEPFFI to the alleged Metrobank account of Ng in 2010.
When asked how much the transfer was, she answered, “P10 million.”
Suñas said it was Napoles who ordered that the transfer be made.
On further questioning by Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, she also testified that it was Napoles who gave the account number by phone to their office.
The witness identified pork barrel scam witness Benhur Luy as the one who received the call and who gave her details as to the amount to be transferred.
Napoles’s lawyer, Dennis Buenaventura, afterward objected, saying there is no basis because “she [Sunas] is not Mrs. Napoles.”
Suñas, a former employee of Napoles, a businesswoman, was testifying during a hearing on Estrada’s petition for bail.
“[Well [I think that is what they]… they were laying the basis and the predicate [to link Mr. Ang to an]AMLC report, I have nothing to do with it.[Maybe , they have I transaction that I don’t know about],” Estrada told reporters after the hearing.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report on transactions related to Estrada’s alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam mentioned a Metrobank account under the name of Juan Tan Ng.
The initial deposit made to the account was P10 million and the deposit slip indicated a check number, which was drawn from the Metrobank account of AEPFFI, the council said.
Citing the NGO’s statement of account, it said there was a debit memo of P10 million on March 30, 2010.
The AMLC said Estrada received his alleged commissions through alleged dummies
Prosecutors have not been able to present the AMLC’s testimony.
The witness from AMLC, Bank Officer IV Orlando Negradas Jr., was presented last January 12 but the defense objected before direct examination began saying they were not furnished a copy of the AMLC report, which was then only identified in the hearing as its contents were subjected first to marking.
In the next bail hearing, Negradas was unable to testify on the contents of AMLC report after the defense filed a request to exclude the report from the proceedings.
Prosecutors presented Suñas instead last Monday after the defense expressed its intention to appeal the court’s denial of Estrada’s plea to exclude the report.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Ombudsman is investigating individuals whom the AMLC considered as Estrada’s alleged dummies—his aide Pauline Labayen, Carl Dominic Labayen and Ng.