Mike Arroyo denies benefiting from Malampaya fund-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
FORMER First Gentleman Mike Arroyo denied Friday that he may have been one of the recipients of the illegal diversion of Malampaya gas fund to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) run by detained businesswoman Janet Napoles.
Arroyo's name cropped up after Ruby Tuason was charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday for allegedly receiving P243 million for a still "unidentified principal." Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was quoted in a newspaper report as saying that the person is a relative of Tuason.
Tuason is the estranged wife of the late Philippine Sports Commission chairman Carlos "Butch" Tuason, Arroyo's maternal cousin.
In a statement, Arroyo's spokesperson Ferdinand Topacio said Tuason was already separated from the former sports official when the alleged anomalous transactions regarding the Malampaya fund took place in 2009.
"At this point, whatever connections Attorney Arroyo may have had with Ms. Tuason may be deemed to have been severed," he said, adding the two last met during the wake of Arroyo's cousin in June 2008.
Topacio also dismissed insinuation that Arroyo received kickbacks as "malicious, libelous and fantastical," noting that none of the whistleblowers have linked his client to the scam.
He advised de Lima to be careful with her statements, "lest she becomes like the proverbial 'boy who cried wolf' totally undeserving of belief."
"The legal team of Attorney Arroyo is always ready to disprove the malicious allegations against our client in court, where the battle properly belongs, and not to the hooting throng being whipped up into a lynching frenzy by an administration to cover up its lack of solid achievements and divert public attention away from its own scandals and anomalies," said Topacio.
Arroyo's wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was also slapped with plunder for the alleged misuse of P900 million in royalties from the operation of the natural gas plant in Palawan.
The money should have been used to assist farmers affected by storms Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)