MANILA, Philippines – Are the names implicated by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles herself – as outlined in what is now known as the "Napolist" – backed up by documentary evidence?
But for pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, the Napolist "only serves to muddle up legitimate issues."
"We do not know kung sinasabi 'nya ba ang buong katotohanan, bawas na katotohanan, nadagdagang katotohanan, o pawang kasinungalingan," Luy said in a statement sent by his lawyer Raymond Joseph Ian Mendoza on Tuesday, May 13.
(We do not know if what she's saying is the whole truth, half-truth, modified truth, or just plain lie.)
While rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson already submitted to the Senate his version of the Napolist, supposedly provided to him by Napoles' husband, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has so far kept mum on the names on the list that Napoles herself gave her. De Lima said she would rather let the public await the Senate hearing.
With De Lima warning against possible mayhem over circulating versions of the Napolist, Mendoza said Luy's camp had yet to confirm if these versions were consistent with Luy's submitted testimony to the DOJ.
"We cannot confirm whether both lists have the same content. We were never shown the JLN (Janet Lim-Napoles) list. We can neither vouch for the integrity of the data held by the Inquirer," he said in another text message, referring to what was reported in the newspaper.
De Lima earlier assured the public that Napoles' testimony would be vetted using the statements of current witnesses, including Luy.
No legal purpose
Luy regarded the disclosure by Lacson of names in the list as "premature," given that authorities were still weighing the option of utilizing Napoles as a witness.
He added that the list submitted by Napoles to the DOJ has "no apparent legal purpose" at the moment and should have been earlier released by Napoles herself.
De Lima also earlier said that even without Napoles' testimony, she is confident the DOJ can secure convictions with the testimony of the whistleblowers under its custody and documentary evidence in relation to the scam.
The DOJ chief admitted, however, that Napoles' testimony is crucial in putting together the bigger picture, as there might be details about the scam only Napoles is aware of.
It was Luy who revealed the illegal diversion of lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus projects of non-governmental organizations associated with Napoles.
He was rescued by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in March 2013, after allegedly being illegally detained by Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.
Luy's lawyer also maintained an earlier pronouncement that Napoles is not qualified to become state witness.
"She (Napoles) lied as many times as she denied any knowledge of the PDAF scam and the personalities involved; this weighs heavily on her credibility," he said. – Rappler.com