By Edwin O. Fernandez
KIDAPAWAN CITY, (PNA) –- A utility worker in North Cotabato, named incorporator in one of Janet Napoles’ non-government organizations (NGOs), on Thursday said he is willing to tell all before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Efren V. Sidemo, currently a job order worker of Magpet local government unit earning less than P300 a day, said he was surprised his name was used by his sister-in-law who worked as one of Napoles’ trusted aide in Manila.
Sidemo was named incorporator of Saganang Buhay sa Atin Foundation, Inc. (SBAFI) one of NGOs linked to Napoles,
Sidemo and three others were summoned to appear before the NBI on September 9 on his alleged involvement in the Malampaya fund, Fertilizer fund and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scams.
“I don’t know about it, I am an ordinary worker, I don’t know what to do,” Sidemo said in a radio interview.
Alarmed by the summon from NBI Director Nonato Rojas, Sidemo sought the help of Magpet Vice Mayor Efren Piñol who confirmed he was an ordinary utility worker.
Pinol and Sidemo already went to NBI-11 in Davao City to seek advise what to do since he has no money to proceed to NBI Manila.
According to Sidemo, he does not personally know Janet Napoles who was linked to the alleged P10-billion anomalies involving the pork barrel fund of lawmakers.
”But my sister-in-law was one of the employees of Napoles,” Sidemo said. “She takes care of Napoles mother in Manila and went home to Magpet every now and then.”
Sidemo said Lilian Español, about 46, has been telling them she takes care of Napoles’ mother and getting high salaries.
He said he and the entire family and relatives in Magpet were puzzled how Español earned so much money.
Everytime she is around it was like fiesta in our barangay because she orders “lechon” (roast pig) and plenty of food and drinks,” Sidemo said, adding that she bought lands and farms left and right.
According to Sidemo, farmers in their barangay consider Español as “savior” because she easily lends money to the needy and provide financial assistance to farmers and neighbors needing seed money for their farms.
Aside from Sidemo and Nonito Abarquez, both from Magpet, also listed as SBAFI incorporators were Evelyn Camoro and Concepcion Lasaga. SBAFI was formed in 2009 with Español as president.
The business empire of Napoles was intricately linked with the bogus NGOs that her former employees, Benhur Luy and Merlina P. Suñas, claimed were used to steal P10 billion in state funds.
Based on the incorporation papers and financial records, the NGOs have interlocking incorporators and shared common auditors.
The papers used practically the same wordings and fonts based on records from 1990 to 2011.
The SBAFI was among the 18 NGOs which allegedly benefited from the pork barrel of senators and some members of the House of Representatives.