Editorial: An abundance of lists

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


THERE you go. After weeks of speculation about the contents of the list supposedly made by Janet Lim-Napoles and given to Presidential Adviser for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson by her husband Jaime, the document is now being feasted on by the public.

Lacson turned over the list, which was part of Napoles’s unsigned affidavit, to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The list was promptly “leaked” to the media, sparking a frenzy of denials from lawmakers and former lawmakers who are in the list.

In the end, the public may have been better served if the list was leaked together with other documents to prove the actual link of the lawmakers and former lawmakers to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam processed by Napoles. This has become a “he said, she said” proposition.

There is even reason to be suspicious of how the list was cobbled up. It has turned out that one lawmaker, Rep. Gerald “Samsam” Gullas of the first district in Cebu province, assumed the post when the Supreme Court had stopped PDAF releases by Congress.

One who doesn’t even know what the PDAF looks like surely couldn’t be accused of pocketing the said fund.

Also, some lawmakers and former lawmakers who are in the list swear that they did not deal with Napoles or entrust their PDAF to her. If they can prove their claim, then that begs the question: How can a Napoles list include names of officials Napoles may not have personally known?

Interestingly, at the same time that Lacson’s “Napoles list” was made public, a list supposedly coming from the hard drive containing the “complete” files of whistle blower Benhur Luy, also surfaced. The Luy list is not consistent with Lacson’s “Napoles list.”

The “Napoles list” now in the hands of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima as part of Napoles’s affidavit, this time signed by her; this may soon be made public, too, after this is submitted to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in the coming days.

Then expect Sandra Cam, said to be the president of a whistle-blower’s group and who also claims to have received her own “Napoles list,” to follow Lacson’s lead and leak her own list to the media.

Which brings us back to our previous point. Since the names of those linked to the PDAF scam have surfaced, fairness dictates that, first, conclusions be withheld until all details are in and, second, that the Department of Justice speed up the evaluation of the lists and all the names “linked” to the PDAF scam.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

Opinion

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