NAPOLISTS, PALACE TACTIC; UNA says strategy like ‘Hello Garci’ coverup

THE Palace said Tuesday it would not be brought to its knees by conflicting lists purporting to show lawmakers and officials who received kickbacks from alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles, but opposition lawmakers said the sudden appearance of three versions of the list recalled the “Hello Garci” scandal and coverup in 2005. The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Malacañang seemed to be employing the same tactic that the previous administration used —releasing several versions of the story—to confuse the public and protect its allies. “It’s funny that, even without any investigation yet, Malacanang has already cast doubt on all the Napo-lists, but is very consistent in clearing allies of any involvement,” said UNA secretary general and Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco (photo). He added that the contents of the Napoles lists have cast doubt on the government’s “straight path” policy, after Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was identified as “Napoles’ tutor.” Tiangco added that the proliferation of the lists has come to a dangerous phase and has reached a highly-charged Cabinet-level crisis. “The ultimate goal is to protect Administration allies and to cover up the tracks leading to the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] until 2012. Remember the two versions of the Hello, Garci tapes presented by former Palace spokesman Ignacio Bunye in 2005? It’s practically the same story repeating itself,” Tiangco said. With three versions of the Napoles List now circulating, Tiangco said that the Aquino government has a convenient exit scenario to use by claiming that the names on the list are dubious and fabricated. “Whichever list Malacanang would want to use, they cannot fool the public. The public can now connect the dots and can smell which one is genuine and which one is spurious,” he said.

ALSO: Ombudsman, Comelec chief, COA head richer in 2013

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan became richer by a few million pesos in 2013, copies of their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) obtained by The STAR showed. Morales’ SALN showed that she declared a net worth of P48.962 million, a P5.6-million increase from her P43.362 million in 2012. The increase was a result of her declaration of a fully paid condominium unit in Makati City worth P4.9 million. Morales’ cash investments and retirement benefits went down from P27.2 million in 2012 to P25.9 million last year. She did not list any payables or liabilities for 2013. She listed the same real properties in Muntinlupa, Lemery in Batangas, Parañaque, The Fort and Baguio City apart from the new Makati City condominium unit bought from the Eton Group of Companies. She also had the same vehicles – a car and a van worth P390,000 and P132,850 respectively – and other properties like jewelry, books, furniture, antiques and silverware valued at P2.9 million. Meanwhile, Brillantes’ wealth rose from P32.427 million in 2012 to P40.323 million as of Dec. 31, 2013. His net worth went up despite total liabilities of P9.2 million – a bank loan of P5.8 million and payables of P3.4 million. EWAD MORE...

ALSO: Spare my children – Janet

Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles may settle for something less than immunity from prosecution, but she wants her children to be spared, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Contrary to published reports, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam is not imposing an “immunity or nothing” condition in exchange for her testimony in the scam, De Lima told The STAR the other night. “But she’s a mother and she has one request: don’t touch her children,” De Lima said. There are no specifics on what sparing the children might entail. But De Lima said the children are likely to be indicted only for graft instead of plunder. A graft complaint will allow the children to post bail. Napoles’ children Jo Christine and James Christopher allegedly forged the signatures of ghost beneficiaries of the Malampaya Fund and liquidated documents in the scam. Principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy reportedly said that when Napoles was not at their home at the Pacific Plaza Tower in Taguig, it was Jo Christine who received the funds that were funneled to bogus non-government organizations. The youngest daughter, Jeane, faces charges of tax evasion after she emerged as the owner of a pricey condominium unit in Los Angeles, California although she has no visible source of income. Jeane, who is studying in the US, will reportedly not be charged with plunder since she is a mere recipient of the unit. Napoles has formally applied for immunity in exchange for her testimony, which De Lima is still evaluating. READ MORE...

ALSO: Leila de Lima manipulated Napolists –Sandra Cam

WHISTLE-BLOWER ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT SLAMS DoJ CHIEF FOR SANITIZED LIST! The Benhur Luy and Janet Lim-Napoles lists have been manipulated and sanitized by Justice Chief Leila de Lima, the Association of Whistle-blowers led by its president, Sandra Cam, yesterday said, adding that certain names of personalities, such as those of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and other allies in the Executive Department and Malacañang have been deliberately edited out of the lists, on instructions of De Lima. The whistle-blowers yesterday took turns in lambasting the Justice Secretary for her alleged selective release of the names of those involved in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. Speaking before the Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City yesterday, Cam said De Lima from the very start had already known that there were many lawmakers involved in the pork barrel scam. It was bared recently that De Lima, from the start, already had the so-called hard drive from Benhur Luy, her principal whistle-blower, and De Lima was already aware even before Luy had started giving serialized interviews to a major national broadsheet that kept up with Luy’s revelations for close to six months, where the Luy interviews focused only on the three opposition senators.READ MORE...

ALSO: Clique bent on making Napoles state witness

DESPITE President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s opposition to making Janet Lim Napoles a state witness, a powerful clique within the administration appears bent on “using” the businesswoman to their political advantage. A reliable source said Napoles can be used to clear the names of administration party members who were dragged into the controversy.
“Malacanang itself announced that it was waiting for the affidavit of Napoles. How come? There is strong suspicion that someone other than the President is manipulating everything,” a highly placed source privy to the case told The Manila Times. According to him, the “clique” is being led by a powerful official who dreams of becoming president in 2016. Already, the official’s tentacles have reached the Department of Justice (DOJ), where the witnesses in the P10-billion priority development assistance fund (Pdaf) or pork barrel scam are being secured. The source also claimed that the leader of the group is “moving on his own” and “without presidential imprimatur.” President Aquino had said Napoles cannot qualify as a state witness because she is not the least guilty. Lawyers for the witnesses said Napoles may not be the only mastermind in the scam but she is definitely a principal player, being the “corruptor” of public officials. “Even if she told the truth, that will not make her the least guilty,” The Times source said. READ MORE...


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‘Napolists, Palace tactic’; UNA says strategy like ‘Hello Garci’ coverup


 UNA secretary general and Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco

MANILA, MAY 26, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) By Maricel Cruz - THE Palace said Tuesday it would not be brought to its knees by conflicting lists purporting to show lawmakers and officials who received kickbacks from alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles, but opposition lawmakers said the sudden appearance of three versions of the list recalled the “Hello Garci” scandal and coverup in 2005.

The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said Malacañang seemed to be employing the same tactic that the previous administration used —releasing several versions of the story—to confuse the public and protect its allies.

“It’s funny that, even without any investigation yet, Malacanang has already cast doubt on all the Napo-lists, but is very consistent in clearing allies of any involvement,” said UNA secretary general and Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco.

He added that the contents of the Napoles lists have cast doubt on the government’s “straight path” policy, after Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was identified as “Napoles’ tutor.”

Tiangco added that the proliferation of the lists has come to a dangerous phase and has reached a highly-charged Cabinet-level crisis.

“The ultimate goal is to protect Administration allies and to cover up the tracks leading to the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] until 2012. Remember the two versions of the Hello, Garci tapes presented by former Palace spokesman Ignacio Bunye in 2005? It’s practically the same story repeating itself,” Tiangco said.

With three versions of the Napoles List now circulating, Tiangco said that the Aquino government has a convenient exit scenario to use by claiming that the names on the list are dubious and fabricated.

“Whichever list Malacanang would want to use, they cannot fool the public. The public can now connect the dots and can smell which one is genuine and which one is spurious,” he said.

In the Palace, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the attempt to “bring the whole house down” by sowing different versions of the list would not work against the government.

“The Aquino administration stands firm on the support of the people, on the trust of the people. We have a democratic process and we follow the rule of law,” Coloma said.

Asked if the full affidavit of Napoles could eventually include President Benigno Aquino III, Coloma said: “Our focus is on the search for truth and justice regardless of what certain individuals would like to do or will plan to do. That’s why we have sounded a call for our people to stay focused on the search for truth and justice.”

“The President has cautioned the public about the burn-the-house down strategy being resorted to by some quarters that might lead to tracking misleading information and dissipate case build-up efforts in the remaining two years of the current administration,” Coloma added.

At least three Cabinet officials have been dragged into the scam, Abad, Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

President Aquino earlier disclosed that the number of names in the three versions of the so-called Napoles lists do not tally.

He said the first list that he received had 14 senators, of which 10 were incumbent. The second list, which Napoles gave to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, only had 11, Aquino said .

The third list was given by Napoles’ husband, Jimmy, to rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson and had enough names “to ratify a treaty” or at least 16 senators.

Aquino said it was also next to impossible for Napoles to claim to be not the most guilty in the scam for her to qualify as state witness.

“Because she is at the center of all this, and she is the connection to all those involved, so how can we say she is not the most guilty if she is at the center?” the President said.

The independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives on Tuesday supported the President’s position not to grant immunity to Napoles.

“We are in total agreement with the President that it was next to impossible for Napoles to say she’s not the most guilty in the scam since she was the link to all those allegedly involved in the scam,” said the bloc’s leader, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

At the same time, Romualdez demanded the President clean up the mess his government has created when it began muddling the issue.

“We hope the President will personally order a probe of the sudden appearance of so many... conflicting copies of the Napoles list,” Romualdez said. “With the President’s direct hand, we are certain that the culprits will be speedily identified.”

Romualdez also slammed Napoles for delays in turning over her complete affidavit, saying this was another attempt to blackmail people into giving her what she wants—immunity from suit.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of the bloc, said that the more the Aquino government tries to cover up for its allies, the more problems it get.

“The more you try to tinker with the information, the more you have problems,” De la Cruz said.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. played down UNA’s assertion that the Palace was trying to muddle the issue by circulating several conflicting versions of the Napoles list.

“For sure the President will not protect anybody against whom there is evidence,” Belmonte told the Manila Standard in a text message.

But Ako-Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said the accusations and counter-accusations have eroded the trust and confidence of the people in democratic institutions.

House Deputy Majority Leader Jorge Banal of Quezon City also defended the Palace against allegations that it was muddling the case.

“Lots of lists, lots of muddling, and lots of folks weighing in. UNA has the President in its sights because obviously [Aquino] is the biggest obstacle to their political plans for 2016,” he said.

He batted for allowing Napoles to “say her piece, return the money she got, and consider a reduced sentence in exchange for her full cooperation.”

Banal’s suggestion seemed to be diametrically opposed to the President’s earlier rejection of Napoles as a state witness.

A member of the minority, 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said only the signed affidavit and list from Napoles was of any use.

“There is only one list that the President and everyone should consider. That is the list submitted by Ms. Napoles. All the rest have no relevance and much less probative value. The President should know this,” Bello added.

Cibac party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, and administration ally, said the government must speed up the filing of charges against those involved in the pork barrel scam so as not to further politicize the issue.

“The DOJ [Justice] secretary, COA [Commission on Audit] and the Ombudsman should do their job of completing its audit and investigation and prosecute those whom they find to be liable for the misuse of public funds,” he said.

He said those found guilty must be prosecuted, whether they are allies of from the opposition.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. another administration ally, said critics were barking up the wrong tree in blaming the President for the pork barrel scam.

“It would be downright stupid and irresponsible to blame PNoy for the pork barrel scam. He had nothing to do with it,” Barzaga said.

Also on Tuesday, an opposition lawmaker slammed House leaders for failing to act on a resolution calling for a congressional investigation into the Napoles lists.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, a member of the minority headed by San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, appealed to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. to make way for the House probe.

Belmonte has already rejected a House probe, saying this would only duplicate an investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, but Ridon said the minority is hopeful the speaker will have a change of heart “if he believes in accountability and transparency.” – With Joyce Pangco Pañares

FROM PHILSTAR

Ombudsman, Comelec chief, COA head richer in 2013 By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 24, 2014 - 1:00am 0 7 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan became richer by a few million pesos in 2013, copies of their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) obtained by The STAR showed.

Morales’ SALN showed that she declared a net worth of P48.962 million, a P5.6-million increase from her P43.362 million in 2012.

The increase was a result of her declaration of a fully paid condominium unit in Makati City worth P4.9 million.

Morales’ cash investments and retirement benefits went down from P27.2 million in 2012 to P25.9 million last year.

She did not list any payables or liabilities for 2013.

She listed the same real properties in Muntinlupa, Lemery in Batangas, Parañaque, The Fort and Baguio City apart from the new Makati City condominium unit bought from the Eton Group of Companies.

She also had the same vehicles – a car and a van worth P390,000 and P132,850 respectively – and other properties like jewelry, books, furniture, antiques and silverware valued at P2.9 million.

Meanwhile, Brillantes’ wealth rose from P32.427 million in 2012 to P40.323 million as of Dec. 31, 2013.

His net worth went up despite total liabilities of P9.2 million – a bank loan of P5.8 million and payables of P3.4 million.

Brillantes still has his 2007 Toyota Fortuner worth P1.5 million but he now drives a 2014 model Hyundai Starex valued at P1.8 million and “other properties” worth P6.8 million.

His cash, shares of stocks, investments, bank and time deposits and current accounts increased from P19.095 million in 2012 to P27.591 million in 2013.

Brillantes listed the same real properties in Parañaque and Las Piñas valued at P8.831 million.

Tan, the richest among the three, had the smallest increase in total wealth at only P2.288 million.

From a net worth of P65.731 million in 2012, she said she is now worth P68.020 million.

She declared almost the same value of real properties at P36.220 million, but her stock investments went up from P41.950 million in 2012 to P45.812 million in 2013. Her cash also increased from P929,660 to P5.974 million.

It appeared Tan sold some of her vehicles since the value of her cars went down from P1.163 million in 2012 to only P383,000 last year.

Her liabilities listed as various payables also increased from P15.870 million in 2012 to P21.870 million as of Dec. 31, 2013.

The Office of the Ombudsman is the official depository of the SALNs of the president, vice president and the heads of constitutional bodies like Morales, Brillantes and Tan.

Spare my children – Janet (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 24, 2014 - 1:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles may settle for something less than immunity from prosecution, but she wants her children to be spared, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Contrary to published reports, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam is not imposing an “immunity or nothing” condition in exchange for her testimony in the scam, De Lima told The STAR the other night.

“But she’s a mother and she has one request: don’t touch her children,” De Lima said.

There are no specifics on what sparing the children might entail. But De Lima said the children are likely to be indicted only for graft instead of plunder. A graft complaint will allow the children to post bail.

Napoles’ children Jo Christine and James Christopher allegedly forged the signatures of ghost beneficiaries of the Malampaya Fund and liquidated documents in the scam.

Principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy reportedly said that when Napoles was not at their home at the Pacific Plaza Tower in Taguig, it was Jo Christine who received the funds that were funneled to bogus non-government organizations.

The youngest daughter, Jeane, faces charges of tax evasion after she emerged as the owner of a pricey condominium unit in Los Angeles, California although she has no visible source of income.

Jeane, who is studying in the US, will reportedly not be charged with plunder since she is a mere recipient of the unit.

Napoles has formally applied for immunity in exchange for her testimony, which De Lima is still evaluating.

The National Bureau of Investigation is verifying the contents of a hard drive provided by the Napoles camp, listing lawmakers and other officials allegedly involved in the pork barrel and Malampaya Fund scams.

President Aquino has said Napoles may be unfit to turn state witness since she did not appear to be the least guilty.

De Lima reiterated that she agreed to meet with Napoles on three conditions: that the businesswoman would tell the entire unvarnished truth, that no conditions would be attached to the tell-all, and there would be no guarantee that the proffered testimony would be accepted.

Napoles has been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel and Malampaya scams.

De Lima said that instead of immunity, Napoles may negotiate to plead guilty to a lesser offense. A plunder conviction can send her to prison for life, or a maximum of 40 years.

Return to police camp deferred

Yesterday the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 deferred Napoles’ transfer from the Ospital ng Makati (Osmak) to her detention cell at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna after one of her doctors testified that she experienced a “significant amount” of vaginal bleeding following her surgery last month.

Napoles underwent surgery on April 23 to remove her uterus and two ovaries. She was supposed to be returned to the police camp last night.

But her gynecologist Efren Domingo testified in court yesterday that Napoles started bleeding on May 17 and was referred to him by the Osmak on May 19.

The bleeding was so copious it soaked her jogging pants, Domingo told the court, adding that stress, diabetes and sleeplessness could have been the cause.

Sex caused bleeding?

Napoles was subjected to a digital pelvic examination by another gynecologist, Elsie Bandillo Pascua, on May 20 at Osmak.

Domingo ordered a complete bed rest for Napoles and gave her medicine to stop the bleeding. He also withdrew his order allowing Napoles to be discharged from the hospital.

When asked by Special Prosecutor Christopher Garvida if there were other factors that might have triggered the bleeding, Domingo said “private intimate contact” though not necessarily sexual contact was possible.

“She is human and she has her urges,” said Domingo.

He said he did not ask if Napoles had sex while in confinement.

The bleeding stopped on May 21. Domingo said Napoles could be discharged after seven to 10 straight days without bleeding.

“I could order her discharged on May 28,” Domingo said.

Osmak director summoned

RTC Judge Elmo Alameda has summoned Osmak medical director Perry Peralta and gynecologist Florentina Villanueva to appear in court on Monday in connection with Napoles’ request for a longer stay at the hospital.

The order was issued upon the motion of the prosecution.

Napoles’ lawyers also want all her post-surgery check-ups to be done at the Osmak.

Alameda had denied last Tuesday the urgent motion of Napoles for an extension of her hospital confinement.

The judge ordered the Philippine National Police to return Napoles to Fort Sto. Domingo.

‘Not qualified as state witness’

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite said yesterday that Napoles would not qualify as a state witness and should not be given immunity from criminal prosecution.

Barzaga said Napoles, contrary to her claim, is the central figure and author of the pork barrel scam.

“Napoles and her agents were the ones who approached legislators and gave them cash advances, specifying to them which government agencies and corporations the Special Allotment Release Orders would be coursed through, and identifying the projects and their bogus foundations that would implement them,” Barzaga said.

“This profitable racket would not have flourished were it not for Ma’am Jenny, as she is called, her agents and her bogus foundations,” he said.

Barzaga, a practicing lawyer-accountant before seeking public office, has not given any part of his Priority Development Assistance Fund to Napoles or her bogus NGOs.

On Thursday, Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III also said Napoles should not be spared from criminal prosecution.

“The Department of Justice should not accept her affidavit if it is conditioned on the grant of immunity or on any other privilege. She is in no position to set any condition for telling the nation how she perpetrated this multibillion-peso pork barrel scam,” Albano said. – Mike Frialde, Jess Diaz

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Leila manipulated Napolists –Cam Written by Alvin Murcia and Pat C. Santos Saturday, 24 May 2014 00:00

WHISTLE-BLOWER ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT SLAMS DoJ CHIEF FOR SANITIZED LIST

The Benhur Luy and Janet Lim-Napoles lists have been manipulated and sanitized by Justice Chief Leila de Lima, the Association of Whistle-blowers led by its president, Sandra Cam, yesterday said, adding that certain names of personalities, such as those of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and other allies in the Executive Department and Malacañang have been deliberately edited out of the lists, on instructions of De Lima.

The whistle-blowers yesterday took turns in lambasting the Justice Secretary for her alleged selective release of the names of those involved in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Speaking before the Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City yesterday, Cam said De Lima from the very start had already known that there were many lawmakers involved in the pork barrel scam. It was bared recently that De Lima, from the start, already had the so-called hard drive from Benhur Luy, her principal whistle-blower, and De Lima was already aware even before Luy had started giving serialized interviews to a major national broadsheet that kept up with Luy’s revelations for close to six months, where the Luy interviews focused only on the three opposition senators.

These interviews were followed by the Senate blue ribbon committee, where again, Benhur Luy and De Lima, as well as the Commission on Audit (CoA) chairman, Grace Pulido-Tan, only implicated the three opposition leaders in the Senate, while destroying their reputations and political future.

Cam pointed out that De Lima and others in the current administration chose to hit hard Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla.

She said they manipulated the list and the three opposition senators were the ones who have been hit very hard and the very first to be charged with plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Stop the selective justice and justice for sale under your turf,” Cam said, obviously addressed to De Lima.

When asked by reporters in attendance what she meant by selective justice, Cam said that when whistleblower Benhur Luy testified before the Senate blue ribbon committee, he did not mention any specific names but only mentioned Tanda, Seksi and Pogi.

But the next day, De Lima named the three senators, Enrile, as Tanda, Revilla as Pogi and Jinggoy as Seksi.
No other lawmakers’ names or code names used for other lawmakers, throughout the Senate hearings, was ever mentioned by Luy and De Lima.

“Luy gave out code names such as Tanda, Seksi at Pogi, but the next day De Lima said she will prosecute the three senators though their names had yet to be mentioned by the whistleblowers,” Cam said.

Sanlakas leader, lawyer Argee Guevarra called on President Aquino to stop coddling those closely identified with him namely, DBM Secretary Abad and Drilon both of whom were included in the list given to them, along with the name of TESDA Secretary General Joel Villanueva.

De Lima has been claiming that she had already prepared a second batch of other legislators indicted, most of whom are congressmen known to be in the opposition. No senator was included in the second batch. De Lima also claimed that she has prepared a third batch of legislators iimplicated in the pork scam, but neither the second nor the third batch has been filed before the Ombudsman.

Guevarra and his group, along with the so-called Scrap Pork Movement want President Aquino to be held accountable as well as all individuals who have been included in the list and for them to be prosecuted.

“If the list shows that there are 200 legislators, they should all be prosecuted not only the three senators that are identified with the opposition,” Guevarra said.

Guevarra said they are not contented with the way the pork barrel scam is being handled because the government appears to be training its attention on the three opposition senators but the ones closely identified with them are being “shielded”.

Cam likewise said there is no truth that Drilon doesn’t know Janet Lim Napoles because it was the businesswoman who personally introduced to the senator former Candaba Mayor Rene Maglaque who was also a former undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) and is now a member of the Liberal Party.

“How can he (Drilon) say that he doesn’t know Napoles when she was the one who had introduced him to Maglaque who at present is an LP member?” Cam stressed.

Cam also said that their list was provided by the circle of Napoles and Benhur Luy and Drilon was listed at number five.

Drilon has denied that he knows Napoles, even when a photo of him and his wife with Janet Lim-Napoles made the rounds in the Internet.

In the same manner, President Aquino, who had denied ever having seen or known Napoles was in a photo with her and her family. This also made the rounds in the Internet.

Napoles had surrendered to Aquino voluntarily and in Malacañang too.

Reports were out that Napoles had been in Malacañang earlier than officially reported, as she had lunch with Aquino, Abad and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas first where they were supposed to have talked privately, where some kind of deal was forged.

Napoles appeared to have been given the royal treatment by Aquino and Roxas, as Aquino himself escorted Napoles to Camp Crame.

It was never explained by Malacañang why Aquino had allowed Napoles to surrender to him personally, when she should have surrendered either to the court, or at the very least, to the National Bureau of Investigation.

Moreover, the official word then was that presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, even fetched her from Heritage Park in bringing her to Malacañang to surrender to Aquino.

The Napoles-Luy lists have surfaced and in an affidavit of Napoles which was unsigned given to former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, now Rehabilitation czar, pointedly recounted that Abad was her tutor in coming up with the pork scam scheme.

Abad has denied this, saying Napoles is a liar.

The Luy list taken from the hard drive files, showed at least over 100 lawmakers, which included allies of Aquino. This was never bared by Luy and De Lima during the Senate blue ribbon hearing, even when she alerady had this in her possession.

Meanwhile, the Makati Regional Trial Court has defered its earlier order for the alleged Pork barrel mastermind Napoles to return to her detention cell at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa Laguna yesterday.

The Makati RTC Branch 150 held the hearing on Napoles plea for her continued stay at the Ospital in Makati after she had complained of vaginal bleeding after undergoing surgery for the removal of her cyst in her ovary last April 23.

The lawyers and doctors of Napoles, as well as the doctors of the Makati hospital testified that Napoles had been bleeding for three days and needed bed rest, due to stress and her health condition.

The doctors were also quoted in reports as having said that the bleeding could have been caused by private sexual intercourse, apart from stress.

Napoles has not completed her list and affidavits that are being summoned by the Senate committee, with De Lima seeking more extensions to produce the sworn affidavits of Napoles, using the same hospital excuse for her failure to provide the Senate with the affidavits.

It is to be recalled that after De Lima held a five hour meeting with Napoles in the same hospital shortly before her surgery, De Lima held a press conference and claimed that Napoles had given her the sworn and notarized affidavits, yet now she claims the affidavits are still a work in progress.

It was, however, in that same press conference where she said that Napoles had “certainly and absolutely” spilled the beans on the three opposition senators, but refusing to name the other lawmakers in the list, because she claimed that reputations would be damaged.

The speculation was high that De Lima and the Palace were already into more sanitizing of the list and affidavits.
As she has refused to release the list, other lists from sources surfaced and were published, including the list taken from Benhur Luy’s hard drive.

Presiding judge Elmo Alameda during Friday’s hearing on Napoles’ urgent motion to recall and reconsider the transfer order had asked if Napoles started bleeding hours before the court issued its May 20 decision ordering the PNP to return Napoles to Fort Sto. Domingo.

Dr. Efren Domingo, the physician of Napoles, denied the report and told Alameda that his patient started bleeding on Monday, May 19.

Earlier, In an order released Tuesday, Judge Elmo Alameda said Napoles’ motion for an extended stay at the Ospital ng Makati lacked merit.

Napoles, in her motion, said she needs to have a complete bed rest for a speedy and full recovery. She also said it would be convenient for her, her doctors and security personnel if she stays at the hospital for her routine check-up.

Her lawyers also said that Napoles needs a more conducive place to finish her amended pork barrel list.

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Clique bent on making Napoles state witness May 25, 2014 10:11 pm
by JOEL M. SY EGCO, JING VILLAMENTE AND RUFFIE CRUZ REPORTERS SENIOR REPORTER AND REPORTERS


Witnesses and whistleblowers discussed issues related to the pork barrel scam during the Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt forum hosted by Erick San Juan. From left are Carlo Batalla of Citizens Crime Watch, Melchor Magdamo and Argee Guevarra of Scrap Pork Movement, Sandra Cam and Joe Villegas, lead convenor of lawyer-volunteers to help in the prosecution of lawmakers involved in scam and RJ Javellana of WARM. Their consensus: Some powerful people are conspiring to protect Janet Lim Napoles.

DESPITE President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s opposition to making Janet Lim Napoles a state witness, a powerful clique within the administration appears bent on “using” the businesswoman to their political advantage.

A reliable source said Napoles can be used to clear the names of administration party members who were dragged into the controversy.

“Malacanang itself announced that it was waiting for the affidavit of Napoles. How come? There is strong suspicion that someone other than the President is manipulating everything,” a highly placed source privy to the case told The Manila Times.

According to him, the “clique” is being led by a powerful official who dreams of becoming president in 2016. Already, the official’s tentacles have reached the Department of Justice (DOJ), where the witnesses in the P10-billion priority development assistance fund (Pdaf) or pork barrel scam are being secured.

The source also claimed that the leader of the group is “moving on his own” and “without presidential imprimatur.”

President Aquino had said Napoles cannot qualify as a state witness because she is not the least guilty. Lawyers for the witnesses said Napoles may not be the only mastermind in the scam but she is definitely a principal player, being the “corruptor” of public officials.

“Even if she told the truth, that will not make her the least guilty,” The Times source said.

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad has also claimed that the camp of Napoles implicated him and other government officials in the pork barrel scam in an attempt to blackmail Malacanang to approve her request for immunity.

On Sunday, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said there is no timetable for Napoles to submit her latest affidavit to the Justice department and the Senate, which issued a subpoena last week.

“Secretary Leila de Lima has time and again clarified that all of these are in line with the search for truth and in accordance with the standards of justice,” Coloma added over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

The Palace official maintained that they treat the case with caution and all evidence that will be presented must stand in court.

He said the DOJ and state prosecutors continue to take the lead in handling the case.

Selective

Sandra Cam, who heads a group of whistleblowers, bolstered suspicion that some government officials are manipulating the issue as she criticized de Lima for her alleged selective release of the names of those involved in the PDAF scam.

At the weekly forum at the Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City over the weekend, Cam said de Lima knew from the start that there were many lawmakers allegedly involved in the pork anomaly but she kept the information under wraps.

According to Cam, the DOJ seemed to have manipulated the list because only three senators — Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. – were charged.

“Stop the selective justice and justice for sale under your turf,” she said, apparently in reference to de Lima.

Cam noted that when Benhur Luy testified at the Senate blue ribbon committee, he did not mention names but made references only to Tanda, Seksi and Pogi.

“[But] the next day, de Lima said she will prosecute the three senators though their names [are] yet to be mentioned by the whistleblowers,” she said.

Activist Argee Guevarra also on Sunday called on Aquino to stop coddling Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Technical Skills Development Authority Secretary General Joel Villanueva.

Guevarra and his group, Scrap Pork Movement, said all individuals included in the “Napolists” should be investigated.

Hard disk

Meanwhile, the camp of Luy confirmed the existence of a hard disk drive containing Napoles’ transactions but clarified that the data contained in it must first pass Luy’s scrutiny.

Raji Mendoza, Luy’s legal counsel, told The Times in a phone interview that Luy can only affirm the existence of the disk but not its content because it could have been recopied or manipulated.

Mendoza presented a handwritten statement to a national daily that has been publishing supposed files by Luy.

“The last sentence [in the statement] is essential because as Benhur has acknowledged only the existence of the database and the fact that the [Philippine Daily] Inquirer had copied it, the data [are] yet to be authenticated by Benhur,” the lawyer said.
The Inquirer has been publishing a series of reports for the past 12 days involving new names involved in the pork barrel issue.

The second paragraph of the statement says “Benhur further confirms the existence of his hard drive which was at that time given to Atty. Baligod by Benhur’s parents for safekeeping.”

“The contents of Benhur’s hard drives were shared by former counsel, Atty. Levito Baligod, with the PDI to support the allegations against the Napoles group. PDI reproduced the same copies,” Mendoza said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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