Ex-lawmaker mum on alleged ‘kickback’

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Monday, December 16, 2013

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Former 2nd district representative and now Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairman Zenaida Ducut is keeping mum on the accusations of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy that she allegedly demanded a five percent commission on projects she reportedly worked out for Janet Lim-Napoles.

Sources close to Ducut -- who was appointed to the ERC post by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo -- said that the former legislator is tight-lipped regarding the allegations, saying that the ex-solon "simply wants to be respected on her silence" since her name was floated and linked to the pork barrel scam.

Luy had alleged that Ducut, a three termer (1995 to 2004) lawmaker, gets her commission via fund transfers deposited by Napoles in her personal bank account.

Based on the National Bureau of Investigation malversation and bribery case filed in the Office of the Ombudsman, Ducut allegedly received a total of P3.2 million in commissions for brokering more than P64-million worth of Priority Development Assistance Funds from six former lawmakers. The NBI noted in its findings that the former congressmen received their kickbacks from Napoles through Ducut.

He added that Ducut would bring vouchers to the JLN office together with the memorandum of agreement and endorsement letter signed by ex-congressmen Douglas R. Cagas of Davao del Sur; Arrel Olaño of Davao del Norte; Douglas C. Cagas IV of Davao del Sur; Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato; Salacnib Baterina of Ilocos Sur; and Rozzano Rufino Biazon of Muntinlupa.

Marina Sula, another whistleblower who worked at JLN, corroborated Luy’s statements, and in a September 12 testimony before the NBI disclosed: “I always see her during the anniversary of JLN Corporation, during the death anniversary of the mother of Madam Janet Napoles and at our office at Discovery Suites every time Madam Janet has a business to discuss with her.”

Sun.Star Pampanga’s attempts to reach the Kapampangan ERC official proved futile as sources close to her reiterated that her silence be respected, until such time she officially issues statements regarding the allegations.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 17, 2013.

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