MANILA, Philippines — Television and radio personalities Korina Sanchez and Mike Enriquez denied receiving cash gifts from alleged Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In an interview aired on 24 Oras Weekend, Enriquez said he was both saddened and enraged by a newspaper report linking him to the multibillion-peso scheme that diverted lawmakers' PDAF or pork barrel funds to Napoles' bogus foundations and to the pockets of government officials.
The report said that according to the digital disbursement records of whistle-blower Benhur Luy, a P50,000 "birthday gift" was given each to Enriquez and Sanchez but was received in their behalf by Mon Arroyo, a former television director.
Enriquez admitted that he knows Arroyo, but he said he hasn't seen the former television director for decades.
According to a report aired on GMA News TV's Balintanghali, Sanchez also admitted knowing Arroyo, but denied receiving gifts from Napoles.
The report added that Sanchez never knew and met with Napoles, though she had an interview with the businesswoman's family last year.
Pointing out that the supposed documents from Luy's digital files were not signed, Enriquez said the only official list of personalities who had transactions with Napoles was the one submitted by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
"Madaling kumalikot ng kahit anong papel, ng kahit anong dokumento. Madaling magdagdag, madaling magbawas," Enriquez said.
Enriquez maintained that he never received any gift or bribe from anyone because this is against the standards of his station, GMA Network.
"Labag 'yan sa standards ng GMA. At 'pag nagbigay ka ng ganyang halaga sa isang taga-media, hindi regalo 'yan. Suhol 'yan. Kahit paano mo balik-baliktarin 'yan," Enriquez said in another interview on 24 Oras Weekend on Sunday night.
In a statement published on its news website, GMA Network said it stands by Enriquez since the allegation against him was "uncorroborated and bare."
The STAR reported today that according to Napoles' laywer Bruce Rivera, there were no media personalities included on the list of the businesswoman. -Louis Bacani