Buzz: Napoles’s lawyer is from Argao

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


FEW people know that Bruce Rivera, the lawyer who represents “pork barrel queen” Janet Lim-Napoles, is a Cebuano.

Rivera hails from Argao, Cebu. Some residents in the town who remember Rivera told Bzzzzz that the lawyer studied at Taloot Elementary School and took his pre-law studies at the Southwestern University in Cebu City.

He studied law at San Beda College in Manila. He passed the Bar in 2006.

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Neighbors of the Riveras in Argao remember Napoles’s spokesperson and counsel as a timid person. “Pirteng hilomona ana niya. Wala gyud mi gadahum nga siya diay abogado ni Napoles (He hardly spoke when he was younger. We never thought he would end up as lawyer of someone as controversial as Napoles),” one resident said.

Business and politics

A Bzzzzz source is wondering how two neophyte politicians in a local government in Cebu managed to buy new vehicles despite their huge spending on the road to the May 2013 elections.

Before entering politics, these two were businessmen, another Bzzzzz source pointed out.

That should explain it. They are enterprising and found a way to quickly recoup their expenses. A colleague of theirs found out how.

While inspecting a construction project, the colleague was surprised to find the two political rookies. The colleague said not much was said during the occasion but the next day, one of the two neophytes handed him a fat envelope containing cash.

The colleague said he declined the offer and told the two rookies to keep the money.

He said it was against his principle to receive money from a project proponent who may or may not be violating regulations.

But the incident got the colleague intrigued so he asked a few people. He said he learned that the two are sort of business partners: their enterprise involved favorable assessment of ventures in exchange for cash. As businessmen, they protect businessmen for a fee.

“The rookies, it turned out, were not that green. They knew how to play the old game,” said a Bzzzzz source.

Going back a long way

Few have bothered to check how a controversial personality in the academe ended up as high-ranking official of two colleges.

According to a Bzzzzz source, the college official helped a veteran politician set up a school in one local government unit. Happy with the turnout of their venture, the politician recommended the academic guy to another local government official who wanted to put up an LGU-owned school in his city.

This is where the academic guy first became controversial. But how did he get himself appointed by the political opponent of his former boss?

The Bzzzzz source said the academic guy and the veteran politician had a rift. The conflict started when the politician realized that his subordinate was making more money from a scheme they concocted.

Perhaps, the academic guy befriended the veteran politician’s rival by ratting on his former boss. “He wouldn’t be the first to do that in politics,” said the Bzzzzz source.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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