Nemesio Pablo doesn’t own houses in posh residences, nor does he drive a luxury car. He never threw lavish parties in New York City and certainly he didn’t keep money in bathtubs. All he’d got was a small welding shop in Pangasinan before he left in 2008 to work abroad.
Pablo, now working as welder in Alice Springs in northern Australia, was both surprised and angry upon learning that he was named as co-accused, along with 37 others including senators and congressmen, in the widely-criticized pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Mrs. Janet Napoles.
In a video interview with reporter Gigi Grande of ABS-CBN, Pablo expressed bewilderment as to how he was implicated in the case while working as OFW hundreds of miles from his country.
‘Magkahalong kaba ,siyempre andun yung galit at wala akong ideya kung sino ang may gawa ( I was both scared and angry and I have no idea who did this)’
His name was listed in the plunder and malversation charge sheet as the President of Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (AEPFFI), an NGO linked to Napoles which was alleged to have received P145 Million siphoned from PDAF of senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Bong Revilla and Gringo Honasan. The said amount is supposed to be utilized for training kits and seminars for the farmers. However, the intended beneficiaries did not receive anything from the said project.
He also denied knowing Napoles personally and had never met her before.
‘ Wala po kaming relasyon ni Napoles, hindi ko po siya kilala ( I have no association with Napoles, I do not know her)’
He later found out that her cousin, Merlina Sunas, one of the whistle blowers now under DOJ custody, had used his name to be part of the said bogus NGO without his consent and without telling him.
He also added that her cousin Sunas, after the scam was exposed in public, had since then called her and apologized. He said she was deeply sorry for what this scandal had brought to him and to his family.
‘Nagsorry siya sa akin. Sabi niya ‘insan, kasalanan ko lahat ito, ginamit ko ang pangalan mo’ ( She apologized to me. She said ‘this is all my fault, I used your name’)
Atty. Levito Baligod, the lawyer for the whistleblower also confirmed that Merlina Sunas indeed apologized to Pablo and also admitted that her cousin(Pablo) was clueless about her listing his name as president of the NGO .
Despite the big expenses he might incur in the process, the embarrassment it caused as well as the unnecessary disruption to his job, Nemesio Pablo is determined and declared willingness to come home, face the charges and finally clear his name.
Last September 16, DOJ filed plunder, malversation, direct bribery and graft and corruption case before the Ombudsman against 6 Napoles NGO President (including Nemesio Pablo) along with 3 senators, 5 former congressmen, 8 chief-of-staffs/staffs, 5 heads of implementing agencies and 10 employees/officials of agencies and Mrs. Janet Napoles herself.
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