Senate releases signed Napoles list-A A +A
Thursday, May 15, 2014
MANILA (2nd Update) -- The controversial "Janet Napoles list" of lawmakers and government officials allegedly involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam was released by the Senate on Thursday.
The list, received by Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Teofisto Guingona III, was signed by Napoles herself, the alleged architect of the scam involving the use of fake non-government organizations (NGOs) as recipients of PDAF.
The following incumbent and former senators appeared on the list submitted by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee:
Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.
Juan Ponce Enrile
Vicente Sotto III
Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III
Alan Peter Cayetano
Robert Barbers (deceased)
Francis "Chiz" Escudero
The list is similar with the unsigned affidavit obtained by rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson.
Guingona said he gave De Lima another week to submit the duly signed and executed affidavit of Napoles, which has yet to be finished due to sheer volume of attached documents.
She also reiterated that Napoles already signed an initial affidavit implicating lawmakers and individuals already sued before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The initial statement, according to De Lima, corroborated the first two complaints of the alleged misuse of the PDAF and that of the Malampaya fund.
“I’m hoping they should take caution before releasing anything,” she added.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) already stopped their involvement in preparing the affidavit of Napoles to remove suspicions that the government is sanitizing the list.
Asked why only Senators Enrile, Estrada and Revilla have been sued while others remain unscathed, De Lima said they started with the 2007 to 2009 period since the Commission on Audit (COA) already had the supporting documents to build a case.
(Video by Alfonso Padilla/Sunnex)
De Lima said Napoles has manifested in a letter her desire to become state witness despite protests from the whistleblowers who tagged her as the mastermind of the scam.
For Napoles to be given immunity, she has to prove that she is not the most guilty of the crime, which is one of the requirements under the Rules of Court.
"I'm not sure at this point kung we will be able to make an appropriate recommendation to the Ombudsman. My choice is either I also make my own determination but recommendatory only to the Ombudsman, or I will refrain from doing that determination," De Lima told reporters.
She said her priority is to verify Napoles's claims in the affidavit and "after the vetting, we would know if she is qualified" to become state witness. (Camille P. Balagtas/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)