NABCOR head admits meeting Napoles

The former president of the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) admitted during a Senate probe on Thursday that he met with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles twice in Discovery Suites in Ortigas sometime in 2009.

Alan Javellana, NABCOR president from 2007 to 2009, said he was invited by Napoles for coffee and he briefed her on NABCOR's projects as she was a potential investor.

"Wala kaming pinapag-usapang PDAF. I briefed her about NABCOR...we were looking for investors,” a visibly nervous Javellana said.

When asked who were the legislators who funneled their pork barrel funds to non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles, Javellana named Sens. Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada. The three lawmakers, Javellana said, gave their pork barrel allocations to the Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc (MAMFI), the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI) and the People's Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI).

His statement corroborates a COA special report on the use of the PDAF from 2007-2009, which stated that the three senators transferred pork to 3 NGOs linked to Napoles through government corporations including NABCOR.

In Thursday's Senate hearing on the pork barrel scam, senators took turns grilling officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), NABCOR and the Zamboanga del Norte College Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC).

Meanwhile, Rhoda Mendoza, former NABCOR Finance Officer, said whistleblower Benhur Luy, then the president of the SDPFFI, frequented the NABCOR office.

After consulting a computer file from her time in NABCOR, Mendoza also said she was "very sure" that Senators Revilla, Estrada and Enrile endorsed SDPFFI for the release of the funds from NABCOR, a government-owned and controlled corporation attached to the Department of Agriculture.

Mendoza also identified 10 members of the House who supposedly gave their pork barrel funds to Napoles NGOs. They are Conrado Estrella III, Erwin Chiongbian, Rodolfo Plaza, Victor Ortega, Samuel Dangwa, Edgar Valdez, Mark Douglas Cagas IV, Rizalina Lanete, Arthur Pingoy Jr. and Rodolfo Valencia.

Sen. Guingona also showed signatures of Luy on the incorporation papers of the the three NGOs. Guingona pointed out that the signature of Luy was different in all three documents.

Napoles, currently detained in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for a serious illegal detention case lodged against her by Luy, is the alleged brains behind the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala earlier said NABCOR and ZREC would be abolished for being used as conduits for questionable pork transactions.

The next hearing on the pork barrel scam is set for Thursday next week.



READ: How pork barrel has divided lower House

For more of Dateline Philippines click here.

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