DOJ readies Napolists matrix: With proof, not enough, fabricated
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing a matrix that makes sense of the lists submitted by Janet Lim Napoles and whistleblower Benhur Luy of lawmakers, government officials, and agents allegedly involved in the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.
The matrix – which has 3 categories that indicate the degree of possible guilt of the persons named – will be submitted to President Benigno Aquino III. (Rappler did a fact-check on the names that appear on various lists: Making sense of Napolists, Congressmen, Agencies and Agents)
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima revealed this on Wednesday, July 11, during her confirmation hearing, where Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano argued that the DOJ and the Commission on Audit should help clarify the confusion sparked by the lists by releasing documents to clear those wrongly dragged into the controversy.
Cayetano himself has been implicated in the scam that diverted the development funds allotted to lawmakers to bogus organizations run by Napoles, allegedly in exchange for hefty kickbacks.
In her affidavit, Napoles claimed giving Cayetano campaign funds in 2013. The senator’s name also appeared in the digital files of Luy, who once served as Napoles’ finance officer.
De Lima said her department is in the process of doing this, and will submit to Aquino a matrix of those named in the Napoles list and Luy records.
“The matrix we are doing has 3 categories. The first category is for those with sufficient evidence. That includes those we filed and will file cases against. Sufficient evidence means Napoles did not just name them but we corroborated it with records of Benhur, through our own records, there is a Special Allotment Release Order, and related documents like request for funds, requests designating Napoles NGOs, memoranda of agreement, and the COA report,” De Lima said.
The justice secretary added that the other two categories are for those with insufficient evidence, and those whose inclusion in the lists was a mere “fabrication.”
“Fabrication means we saw no basis, no documents, no Special Allotment Release Order, so how can they be seen as involved in this scam kung if they had no PDAF project?”
Napoles' lawyer Bruce Rivera himself has clarified that not all the names on the list were involved in the scam, citing the possibility that their names were only used without their knowledge.
De Lima also said the DOJ will look into the other NGOs after investigating the Napoles-related ones. Malacañang has given assurances that more Napoles-like NGOs are being investigated.
She said this in reply to Cayetano, who, in indirectly trying to clear his name, Cayetano mentioned reports that Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter, Makati Representative Abigail Binay, gave pork barrel funds to the questionable Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa Foundation.
The Makati congresswoman has branded the charge as black propaganda. It is believed in political circles that the allegation is being peddled by businessmen known to support the Cayetanos. – Ayee Macaraig/Rappler.com