MANILA, Philippines – As far as alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles’ camp is concerned, there’s only one list of government officials involved in the scam, and it’s the list that they gave to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Speaking to reporters after a May 14 hearing on Napoles’ urgent motion to extend her hospital stay, counsel Bruce Rivera said some lists being published in media contain names that are not in Napoles’ original list.
“We have verified our list and it’s different, some people now implicated in the pork barrel scam aren’t even in [Napoles’] list,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
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Rivera refused to say which names were not in Napoles’ list.
“Merong ‘andon na wala naman dapat sa list. Kaya minsan natatakot kami kasi bakit kami may extra sa kalaban, eh wala naman ang tao na yan sa list,” he added. (There are names that shouldn’t be there in the list. We’re worried because have more enemies now, even if they aren’t being implicated.)
The so-called Napoles list is part of an affidavit that the suspected pork barrel mastermind executed before National Bureau of Investigation lawyers in her hospital room at the Ospital ng Makati. She has even signed a supplemental affidavit to support this, according to her lawyer.
Napoles’ decision to tell all threatens public officials who have transacted with her but who have so far managed to escape public scrutiny.
On the other hand, critics say this is just Napoles’ way of muddling the issue and dragging to the controversy the Aquino administration which has put her in jail on allegations she and lawmakers were behind a massive scheme to divert government funds to fake non-governmental organizations and ghost projects.
At least 2 different lists have been released to the public so far: the list of former Senator and now rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson that he submitted to the Senate and a list from whistleblower Benhur Luy, relative and former aide of Napoles. Sandra Cam, a whistleblower under the Arroyo regime, said she has her own list from an “unimpeachable” source, and it implicates nearly 100 lawmakers.
Rivera added that Lacson’s list of legislators implicated in the scam is incomplete. The list was not signed or notarized. “Yes, it’s a mere scrap of paper. But we never denied giving Senator Lacson a copy,” he added.
When asked who could have added more names to the list of guilty lawmakers, Rivera said: “Maybe there are people who want to create suspicion on our list. There’s only one list.”
Napoles and public officials, including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, face plunder complaints over charges they pocketed millions of public funds meant for development and livelihood projects. – Rappler.com