CA justice inhibits from Napoles cases-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
MANILA-- A Court of Appeals magistrate denied endorsing projects of fake non-government organizations (NGOs) when he was still Laguna lawmaker. The same justice is part of the two divisions hearing petitions related to the alleged pork barrel scam involving businesswoman Janet Napoles.
Associate Justice Danton Bueser said Sunday he will ask the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine the authenticity of his supposed signatures allocating P9.6 million to the Philippine Environment and Economic Development Association (PEEDA) and P9.8 million to the Aaron Foundation Philippines.
The allocations were charged to his priority development assistance fund (PDAF), according to a special report by the Commission on Audit (COA) covering the period 2007 to 2009.
"[T]o the best of my knowledge I have not made any endorsements to these organizations, much less transacted business with these entities. I am very much willing to cooperate with the authorities because I strongly believe my signatures were forged," said Bueser, representative of Laguna's third district from 1998 to 2007.
The NGOs are not related to Napoles, who is being accused of setting up 20 bogus NGOs to pocket pork barrel funds in connivance with some legislators.
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said in a text message they will look into Bueser's request "once we receive it" even as the agency is expected to probe other allegations of PDAF misuse being a member of the Interagency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC).
Bueser is a member of the CA special Second Division, which ordered the examination of financial assets owned by Napoles' family, businesses and employees.
He is also part of the CA Fourth Division which did not recall the arrest warrant issued by the Makati court for alleged serious illegal detention of scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
"While it is true that I am a member of the Court of Appeals Divisions on the cases involving Janet Lim-Napoles and records would show that our rulings are not favorable to her, to cast any doubt and speculations in the mind of the public which could affect the dignity of the court and my credibility as a magistrate, I am recusing myself from handling these cases," said Bueser, who joined the CA in July 2009.
The appellate court has yet to assign Bueser's replacement. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)