Photo by NPPA

He only partied with her.

That was Senate President Franklin Drilon's response to insinuations that there was more to the photo of him next to controversial businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the main suspect in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, that was aired on GMA News on Tuesday.

In an interview, Drilon said that although he had met Napoles at a party, he never had any transactions with her.

“Kaming mga pulitiko marami kaming nakikilala. Hindi ko alam ang kanyang negosyo. Siya po ay ipinakilala sa akin. Other than that, wala naman kaming ibang transaksyon,” he said.

Drilon made the denial after photos, sent by a source to GMA News' Arnold Clavio, surfaced showing him and his wife Mila partying with Napoles and her husband Jimmy. The photos were reportedly taken at what is believed to be Heritage Park, where the Napoleses are known to hold parties.

It was at Heritage Park where Napoles met with presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on the night of August 28 when she surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III, ending a nationwide manhunt on her by the police and government agents. She is currently detained over a serious illegal detention charge.

Drilon has the Commission on Audit (COA) on his side, as he was not among the senators who were named in a report as having allocated portions of their pork barrel, or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), to non-government organizations (NGOs) linked with Napoles.

"I'm going on record before any petition can be made, wala akong dealings kay Ms. Napoles," Drilon said. "Wala akong ginamit na PDAF sa kanyang NGO at ang lahat ko na PDAF ay nasa record kung saan napunta."

He added that his PDAF went to public works, the Philippine General Hospital, the National Kidney Center, and other government hospitals.

The COA had earlier said that four senators gave over P1 billion to NGOs linked to Napoles from 2007 to 2009. These were Senators Bong Revilla Jr. (P483.49 million), Juan Ponce Enrile (P332.7 million), Jinggoy Estrada (P262.575 million) and Gringo Honasan (P14.55 million).

A 2012 COA report said Senators Loren Legarda and Bongbong Marcos gave P15 million and P10 million, respectively, to Pilar and Dinalupihan municipalities in Bataan, which released the money to People's Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Inc. (POPDF), one of the NGOs that the COA had earlier linked to Napoles. — Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News


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