Cunanan denies receiving 'pork' kickbacks

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- Former Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Dennis Cunanan denied before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee Thursday that he received kickbacks from alleged pork scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles.

"Kung meron man ho ako, bakit hindi ko aaminin ngayon? Sa sitwasyon ko kung nasaan ako ngayon, alam ni Secretary (Leila) de Lima yan, napakadali nang gawin 'yan dahil ito na yung sitwasyon para maabswelto. Pero sa konsensya ko at sa konsensya ng pamilya ko, mahirap po umamin ng hindi totoo," an emotional Cunanan said.

"Kung may natanggap ako, siguro ako pa ang magmamadali para maproseso ang dokumento...Bakit nung ako ang naging head of agency, bakit pina-verify ko ang mga agency at pina-blacklist. Sinubmit pa namin 'yan sa COA (Commission on Audit)," he added.

The TRC, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is one of the four identified government agencies where pork barrel funds are allegedly diverted to, said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Pork barrel scam main whistleblower Benhur Luy told the committee that based on his records, Cunanan had received P960,000 from Napoles.

Luy said it was another employee of the JLN Corporation, Evelyn de Leon, who dealt with Cunanan.

"I do not know personally Dennis Cunanan. Hindi ko siya nakita personally. Yung senior ko ang nakikipag-usap kay Dennis Cunanan," Luy said.

The pork scam whistleblower said he was just instructed by Napoles to prepare the amount of P960,000, which he brought to the conference room where Cunanan was when he visited the office of the JLN Corporation.

Luy, however, said that he saw Cunanan come out of the office with the paper bag where the money was stored.

Quizzed by Senator Grace Poe, Cunanan said he was unsure whether he paid a visit to the JLN office.

"The last thing we need is for a witness to poke holes on another star witness' testimony," said Poe, as she pointed out that Cunanan seems to be the only witness who is denying benefiting from the PDAF scam.

De Lima said they neither doubt the testimony of Luy and the denial of Cunanan. "I'm not doubting the denial because we have consistently asked him about that," she said.

Blue Ribbon chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III said they will leave it up to the Justice department to resolve the conflicting statements of Luy and Cunanan. (Sunnex)

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