MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said his reported P5 million transaction with suspected “pork barrel” scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles was “too small” for him to risk his name.
“Nag-transact ako ng P5 million kay Napoles? Dyos ko naman. Hello?! Masyadong maliit,” Ejercito said Wednesday.
(I transacted P5 million with Napoles? OMG, Hello?! That’s too small.)
“Hello, papatulan ko yun, P5 million? Parang ang hirap paniwalaan P5 million…Why would I risk my name for P5 million?” he further asked.
(Hello, will I bite it, the P5 million? That’s so hard to believe, P5 million . . . Why would I risk my name for P5 million.)
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that based on the records of “pork” scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy, Ejercito supposedly allocated P5 million worth of projects through the Department of Interior and Local government when he was still San Juan representative in 2011.
The report did not elaborate what kind of transaction Ejercito had with Napoles.
“Hindi ko iguro sisirain ang pangalan ko sa P5 million. Sa P500 million, baka. Joke!” Ejercito said in jest.
(I will not destroy my name over P5 million. If that were P500 million, maybe. Joke!”)
The senator reiterated that he did not know Napoles and that he had no dealings with her.
“I don’t k even know why I have to defend myself. Nakakapagod na. Ang hirap magdepensa sa bagay na wala kang kinalaman sa totoo lang [It’s exhausting. It’s hard to defend yourself over an issue which you’re not involved in, really],” he said.
If indeed he had transactions with Napoles, Ejercito said, he would feel awkward to attend the hearings on the “pork” scam in the Senate but pointed out that he has always been present in these hearings.