Compel DOJ to reveal Napoles’ list, Revilla urges Senate panel-A A +A
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
SENATOR Ramon Revilla Jr. is urging the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to compel Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to furnish the chamber a copy of the affidavit executed by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.
The senator insisted that it is part of the job of the committee charge by Senator Teofisto Guingona III to gather the right information on the issue and those others being dragged in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
The senator from Cavite challenged Guingona to do his job by compelling de Lima to submit the list, "or he might as well resign as the Blue Ribbon chairman."
According to Revilla, it is for the sake of fair play that the Blue Ribbon committee must reopen its investigation in order to know who else are being tagged by Napoles as the mastermind and other names being mentioned as part of the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada, for his part, said it surprised him why de Lima who is known being vocal about the issue suddenly refused to say anything on the alleged involvement of some government officials.
Estrada said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking some time in disclosing the names of those other lawmakers allegedly being implicated by Napoles herself.
"It is very surprising that the DOJ Chief is having a hard time disclosing the names of other lawmakers being implicated. But when the issue first broke out and our names are being implicated, concerned government agencies appeared to have fast-tracked the handling of the investigation and the situation seemed to be different now," he said.
"Well, I do not know the agenda of the DOJ. I really do not know. Well, for the good of the public and for the good of the Senate and Congress in general, I hope that they release the alleged list given to her by Napoles, if there is any," Estrada added.
Both Estrada and Revilla said there is a big possibility that the DOJ chief is sanitizing the affidavit of Napoles.
"They might be sanitizing it, I do not know why they are keeping it from the public. The real targets are the three senators from the very start. From the very start. It's unfair," Estrada said.
While Revilla maintained that all the actions and decision of de Lima is designed for the 2016 elections, "and not to reveal the truth."
"Lahat ito ay para sa darating na 2016 laban sa mga nasa oposisyon," he said.
When asked to comment, Louie Belmonte from the office Guingona said the senator is presently in Australia attending to some personal matters.
Based on reports, de Lima refused to heed calls for her to disclose the Napoles list of lawmakers and public figures implicated in the pork barrel scandal.
"I already said that I cannot be pressured to release the list at this point. I will do so in due time - upon completion of the Napoles statement and the vetting process," de Lima reportedly said.
De Lima reiterated her position against releasing the list and affidavit of Napoles at a time when the National Bureau of Investigation is still validating the information provided by Napoles after the latter reportedly pointed to another person as the “real mastermind” of the fund anomaly.
De Lima pointed that while she agreed with Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate has constitutional power to compel her to release the list, she said she would appeal for the senators’ understanding against the disclosure.
For his part, Senator Sergio Osmena III, who is the vice chairperson of the Blue Ribbon committee, said it is but proper that those being implicated in the scam be revealed.
Osmena said he is open for a caucus should the DOJ chief wants it that way.
He said it is for the sake of fair play and truth that they want to know the list of Napoles. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)