LWUA chief can't be considered guilty by association with Napoles-A A +A
Friday, November 1, 2013
MALACANANG said Friday that Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Chair Rene Villa could not be considered guilty of fund misuse by just mere association with Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged brains in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Villa reportedly admitted that he became lawyer of Napoles after quitting as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform during the height of the "Hello Garci" vote-rigging scandal in 2005 under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"We’ve also said this repeatedly, it’s not guilt by association, but there has to be a tangible act that is being accused of someone to make that person answer," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a phone-patch interview.
So far, she said that the Palace has not heard of any specific allegations against Villa.
But if there will be any cases to be filed against the LWUA chief, Valte said, "I am quite certain that he would be ready to answer should there be any."
Valte said she was not aware if President Benigno Aquino III was informed prior to Villa's appointment that he became Napoles' lawyer.
"I don't have information on that whether it was made known at the time of the height of the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam or whether it was made known prior to the appointment of Chair Villa," she said.
Some whistle-blowers in the alleged PDAF misuse claimed that Villa received cash and campaign donations from Napoles in 2010. (SDR/Sunnex)