Napoles dilemma

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


RESURRECTION can be an apt word to use if one would refer to the controversy involving the woman who allegedly made billions of pesos out of the taxes paid by Filipino citizens to their government. If her revelation is true, then the woman can be considered a financial wizard for having conjured a scheme that caused lawmakers to give her millions of pesos of their pork barrel.

Mesmerized, as our lawmakers must have been, they took a long time to awaken and to realize that they were somehow under the spell of a financial “witch.” Well, by whatever alchemy of fate, the spell was broken and the “witch’s” power over our lawmakers was somehow diminished.

Indeed, even a brew maker close to the “witch” was able to free himself from the woman’s clutches and added his own story of how the woman accumulated billions of pesos of the people’s tax payments.

In a calculated move, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano demanded the other day that Janet Lim-Napoles be brought to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to talk on the contents of an extended affidavit that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was scheduled to turn over to the committee.

The majority leader of the Senate said that he was in favor of releasing immediately the documents in an effort to de-fang Napoles, who would only be empowered “to manipulate public opinion.”

On the other hand, a former lawyer of the so-called whistle-blowers in the Napoles case revealed the other day that Napoles has a record of her deals regarding the pork barrel scam. He said Napoles kept a record of her transactions “covering the legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund.”

Former Napoles employees, including Benhur Luy, also said that she kept a record of her dealings, including payoffs, in a “red book.” It has a list of payoffs detailing “the siphoning off of pork barrel allocations to ghost projects and kickbacks.”

On this wise, the burden now shifts to those people who are in the lists of those who have benefitted from the scam. They, too, need to explain their inclusion in the lists and whether they really received the amount that they were supposed to have received as share.

This makes the reported “Red Book” that Napoles kept the bone of contention, and the probable source, of more trouble in our contemporary political circumstances. The Napoles list has become a reference on the veracity of the names of persons who may have benefitted from the scam.

But more importantly, those who may have been included in all the lists would probably have a harder time to explain themselves and cleanse their names of taint.

Yesterday, Napoles was dared by a lawyer to show her supposed “Red Book,” “if only to know that she is telling the truth.” But that seems to be the trouble with Napoles.

Will she, or won’t she?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 29, 2014.

Opinion

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