THE admission of pork barrel scam principal witness Benhur Luy, that he is also involved in forging the signatures of lawmakers on liquidation reports and other documents has further supported the claims of Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. that his signatures which appeared in some documents endorsing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were forged.
Luy, in his testimony during the senate blue ribbon committee hearing on Thursday, admitted he is the one forging the signatures of lawmakers on liquidation documents needed in order for the implementing agencies release the fund to them.
He claimed that Janet Lim Napoles, the supposed mastermind of the scam, has been given authority by the lawmakers to forge their signatures.
Marcos recently denied reports that he endorsed at least four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles and channeled at least P100-million form his priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
Marcos made the denial following the receipt of a letter from Magno Oasan, supervising auditor of the Commission on Audit (COA) dated September 4, 2013 inquiring about the authenticity of his signatures appeared on various documents involving the NLDC.
Based on the letter, Marcos allegedly signed an endorsement letter dated March 16, 2012, allowing NLDC to release a total of P100 million from his PDAF to four NGOs namely: Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc., P5 million; Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation Inc., P25 million; Kaupdanan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc., P25 million; and Angri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation Inc., P45 million.
Marcos according to the endorsement letter also authorized his chief of staff Ramon Cardenas to sign, in his behalf, all needed documents to support the projects implementation.
But Marcos, in his reply to COA, said that his signature was falsified and that he never authorized Cardenas, to deal with the NLDC on his behalf.
The senator added that the signature of Cardenas was also falsified.
Marcos’ claims were strengthened by Luy’s testimony made during the blue ribbon he used to forge the signatures of lawmakers when he was still working with JLN Corporation.
“It seems to be consistent with some of the things we have been findings ourselves and that we have been hearing about,” said Marcos referring to Luy’s testimony.
Meanwhile, Marcos also called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to listen to the call of the people to also let go of his pork barrel or the lump sum funds under the control of the chief executive.
“To remove all doubts and its good for the country if he follows the lead of the legislature,” Marcos noted.
Marcos added that the series of anti-pork barrel protest was not aimed on to lawmakers but also to the president and his pork barrel
“The call to scrap all pork barrel has been gaining as more and more (people and groups) are calling for its abolition,” he added. Jefferson Antiporda