Too many lists-A A +A
Friday, May 16, 2014
THERE are many lists of people supposedly involved in the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.
There is the list signed by the “queen of the scam” Janet Lim-Napoles that is in the possession of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. It’s called the “Napolist.” There is the “Pinglist” obtained by former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson from Napoles’s husband, Jimmy. Former jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam has another list. Then there’s the list of Benhur Luy, the original whistle blower of the scam.
The surfacing of the lists has sowed confusion. Is this a diversionary tactic by those who are really involved in the scam?
The “Luylist” reportedly linked 25 incumbent and former senators to the scam. The “Pinglist” named 12 senators and some congressmen, including Cebu City north district Rep. Raul del Mar, first district Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas and former fourth district Rep. Clavel Asas-Martinez.
Those in the lists quickly denied their involvement in the scam. Some of them are willing to confront Napoles and those persons who had a hand in the list if the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conducts an investigation.
Yesterday, de Lima finally released the names of legislators who are in the “Napolist.” They are senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Tito Sotto, Loren Legarda, Koko Pimentel, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gringo Honasan, Chiz Escudero and JV Ejercito. Former senator Manny Villar and the late Robert Barbers are also in the list.
The 12 senators are also in the “Luylist” with the additional names like Franklin Drilon, Cynthia Villar, Ralph Recto, Bongbong Marcos, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Lito Lapid. The former senators in the list are Villar, Nene Pimentel, Edgardo Angara, Tessie-Aquino Oreta, Rodolfo Biazon, Loi Ejercito, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Magsaysay Jr,. Ramon Revilla Sr. and Barbers.
I am surprised by the inclusion of the three Cebuano lawmakers in the list, especially Gullas, who only assumed office last year when the PDAF was already scrapped. Gullas is a newcomer succeeding his grandfather, Eduardo Gullas.
Del Mar was reelected last year for a new term succeeding his daughter, Cutie.
Martinez retired from politics for more than five years now.
To recall, sometime in August of last year, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the release of the PDAF following a petition filed by various groups opposing the pork barrel. Eventually, the High Tribunal declared the PDAF as unconstitutional and totally scrapped it.
So those who were elected in 2013 did not receive a single centavo from the PDAF. Don't tell me they made cash advances, which is not possible.
Del Mar told me that, even in his previous terms, he did not deal with Napoles-created non-government organizations. “I reviewed my PDAF allocations and disbursements and I couldn’t find any single transaction with Napoles NGOS,” he said.
He added that Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Commission on Audit (COA) records would show where his pork barrel went as far as soft projects were concerned. Everything was channeled to proper government agencies.
He noted that even the medical aid fund he extended to members of the Cebu media through the Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation (Cenewof) and his medical assistance program at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center were strictly monitored and supervised by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Well, these lists do not have supporting proof that those mentioned were really involved in the scam. For me, the lists are just mere scraps of paper if not supported by evidence. If they want to pin down these personalities, then fairness dictates that they should conduct an investigation like what they did in the case of Enrile, Revilla and Estrada. Even allies of the Aquino administration should be investigated.
Pero nagduda ko aning ubang mga lista, panglawgaw lang ni. Mao ni giingon sa binugoy nga “pangdamay sa kokwa.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.