‘Dagdag-bawas’ going on in Napoles’ list of lawmakers in pork barrel scam?

Janet-Napoles-surrendered
Janet Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel fund scam (Credits: Inquirer.net)

Ever since businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the P10 billion-pork barrel fund scam, met Justice Secretary Leila de Lima last April 22, speculations had reached fever-pitch.

If she will become a state-witness, what are the arrangements? Will she be compelled to name everyone who is involved in the scandal, regardless of party affiliation? Will she not be charged with plunder?

The story took an interesting turn when De Lima revealed that Napoles’ submitted to her a new list of lawmakers who benefited from the deep-rooted network of corruption as part of a sworn affidavit. The justice secretary described Napoles’ affidavit as a “tell all” of her role in the scam.

Aside from saying that Napoles’ affidavit strengthened the government’s case against Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile, De Lima did not mention the other lawmakers that the alleged “pork barrel queen” implicated in her deposition. She added though that the number of senators involved is already enough to constitute a quorum (perhaps inside the jail?).

It didn’t take long for these names to be publicized. The Daily Tribune ran an exclusive report last April 25 listing down not just three but twelve senators involved in the scandal: Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Lito Lapid, Francis Escudero, Tito Sotto, Franklin Drilon, and Miriam Defensor-Santago.

It must be emphasized though that Ninez Cacho-Olivares, Tribune publisher and one of the writers of the said story, is a member of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the political party of Estrada and Enrile.

Janet-Napoles-surrendered
Janet Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel fund scam (Credits: Inquirer.net)

For his part, Panfilo Lacson, a former senator and current rehabilitation czar, pointed out that as much as 16 senators (enough to ratify a treaty, he said) took pork barrel kickbacks based on the list that Napoles’ camp gave to him early this year.

Lacson’s magic number is being corroborated by Sandra Cam, a former whistle-blower who claims that she has a copy of Napoles’ list.

For the last two weeks, De Lima has steadfastly rejected calls for her to release the names of the individuals that Napoles tagged in her affidavit. She said all information provided by Napoles needs to be vetted first by witnesses like Benhur Luy.

The delay needless to say prompted speculations that efforts are being done to protect administration allies who are part of the scandal, a possibility raised by Lacson himself. To smooth things out, De Lima said she intends to contact Lacson to compare their respective lists.

Talk about strange bedfellows. Remember those days when De Lima was spearheading efforts to run after Lacson when he went into hiding overseas for almost a year? Anyway, let’s process the details again.

Napoles submitted to De Lima last April 22 a list of lawmakers she did business with. Months before she met De Lima, she gave a similar list to Lacson. The Daily Tribune and Sandra Cam also claim to have a copy of Napoles’ list from their respective sources.

(Note: Appearing before the Senate last November, Napoles said under oath that she has no knowledge about the pork barrel fund scam).

To erase doubts, everyone who received a copy of Napoles’ list should come forward so the public can compare the names listed there. It is the only way we can determine if dagdag-bawas really happened. Now, here are questions that need to be answered definitively:

  1. Did Napoles give different versions of her list to different people? If yes, why did she do it?
  2. Or, is someone else behind her decision to make alterations in her list?
  3. If Napoles is the one responsible for the dagdag-bawas in the names included in her list, what does this say about her credibility as a potential state witness?

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

6 Comments on ‘Dagdag-bawas’ going on in Napoles’ list of lawmakers in pork barrel scam?

  1. Really good read. a lot of questions coming out of these so called lists instead of answering them. thank you for being the only news article that actually questions these lists instead of just pasting for views.

  2. I think we should question Napoles and these so called lists of her first… everything seems to BS at the moment

  3. Protect and slander… This is the perfect place to bring down enemies… Besides the confirmed 3 the rest of the people on these lists should be given the benefit of the doubt.. and a thorough investigation must be conducted. Preferably not by Lacson or De lima

  4. Nothings certain that’s the point…the investigation the senate are making day by day is becoming unrealistic….this causes to temporarily ignore other issues and matters…and while that happens other people and organizations were taking advantage of it….Like the struggle of the scarborough shoal with china and vietnam for example, as a concerned teen what I fear from china is that they would take more violent actions towards our countrymen,and because napoles here keeps changing her Lists it makes the whole thing confusing…After months of watching news and viewing blogs about their progress about this case, I just fear that there would be a political uprising between politicians and violent rallies by the people …

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