Sen Miriam Santiago tells Janet Napoles: tell all before others implicated in the scam assassinate you.
MANILA, Philippines – The woman at the center of the pork barrel scam faces Sen Miriam Santiago in Thursday’s Senate hearing.
She tells Janet Napoles: tell all before others implicated in the scam assassinate you.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
Janet Lim Napoles is defiant, at times even answering back. But the supposed brains behind the pork barrel scam is no match for Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago. Santiago returns to the Senate, turning Napoles’ testimony into a lecture with free legal advice thrown in. After listening to Napoles’ denials for hours, Santiago tells Napoles there’s a difference between saying she does not know the answer and invoking her right against self-incrimination.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Meron ka bang kilalang personal, di lang sa mukha, alam mo ang pangalan o alam mo na senador ito. Kilala mong personal. Yung parang kaibigan mo na? (Are there any senators you talked to and know personally? Someone’s who’s already like your friend.)
JANET NAPOLES, ALLEGED PORK BARREL SCAM MASTERMIND: I invoke my right.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Sino lang kausap mo eh, “I invoke my right?!” Tapos na ang Halloween eh, wala nang multo! (I just asked you who you spoke with and you say, “I invoke my right?!” Halloween is over, there are no more ghosts.)
Santiago advises Napoles to tell all and turn state witness, warning her that there are serious consequences to her silence.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Kung si Enrile most guilty, sabihin mo na para ‘di ka ipapatay! Ang taong iyan, may gwardiya pa sa kubeta na may long firearm. Kaya wag mo i-underestimate ang Enrile na iyan. May asim pa rin si Tanda! (If Enrile is the most guilty, say it now so they won’t have you killed. That man has a guard in his bathroom with a long firearm. Don’t underestimate Enrile. That old man venom in him.)
The senator tells Napoles that only by turning state witness can she avoid 20 to 40 years imprisonment in the plunder case.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Magiging 90 ka na, kasing-tanda mo na si Tanda. Pinoproteksyunan mo ang tao na siya ang pinaka-guilty. I will give you this counsel: Tell the truth before the senators affected have you assassinated. You will turn 90, you’ll be as old as that old man. You’re protecting the man who’s most guilty. Think about it. This is a friendly tip from a lawyer.)
Santiago also turns her ire on administration ally and Local Water Utilities Administration Chairman Rene Villa, who admitted to lawyering for Napoles. The senator questions his credentials, calling him an OFW masquerading as an international trade lawyer. Santiago also minces no words for Sen Serge Osmeña who made fun of her in front of media.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Gusto ko lang sabihin sa kalaban kong kinukutya ako dahil sinabi ko only court can grant immunity, yan ang problema pag ang tao di nagtapos ng college, maglecture sa abogada tungkol sa batas. (I’d just like to tell my opponent who’s criticizing me because I said only the court can grant immunity, that’s the problem when one didn’t finish college. You’ll end up lecturing a lawyer about the law.)
But Santiago is most concerned about Napoles, calling her “beyond evasive.”
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Ignorance can be treated but stupid is forever. Let’s hope for the best. Let’s hope this is a case of ignorance.
The senator insists someone of Napoles background could not have acted on her own in convincing lawmakers and officials to cut a deal. Napoles successfully evades the questions of the day but Santiago urges her to think long and hard about the future. The senator says unless Napoles tells the truth. The only choice left for her will be decades in jail or death. Ayee Macaraig, Rappler. – Rappler.com