MANILA – Atty. Bruce Rivera, spokesperson of alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles, on Saturday said his client is not the brains behind the pork barrel scam.
“She’s not the brains, we’re sure of that,” Rivera told DZMM’s Teka Muna program.
According to Rivera, a special Commission on Audit (COA) report found that 84 non-government organizations (NGOs) were used in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. Of the 84 NGOs, only 10 belonged to Napoles, Rivera said.
“It takes sophistication and brains. I’m not saying my client does not have brains, but she is not sophisticated that way,” he said.
Rivera also said that Napoles is “definitely qualified” to be a state witness.
“We are sure she is not the most guilty,” Rivera said.
Asked why he took on the job as Napoles’ spokesperson, Rivera said “no one was willing enough to do the job.”
“Nobody was brave enough to do the job for her. Yung mga abogado nya, siguro takot sila. She told me, you will be scrutinized, your lifestyle will be scrutinized. Wala akong tinatago. If there is anything, I can be honest. The NBI can look at my background, kaya hindi ako takot,” he said.
Rivera said that even before he became a lawyer, he was already friends with Napoles. He said he knew she was well-off, but did not suspect anything about her alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.
“When I took on the job as spokesperson, I knew so little,” he said.
Asked how long he will be Napoles’ spokesperson, Rivera said: “I will be her spokesperson until the time that she needs me. Of course, if she would not want my services anymore, we can always move on.”
According to Rivera, he was the one who facilitated Napoles’ meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, whom he personally knows because she is also from San Beda where he is a professor.
Rivera said De Lima only agreed to meet with Napoles if she was going to “tell all.”
According to Rivera, Napoles has documents to support the sworn statement and “list” she gave De Lima. Although she (Napoles) does not have access to these documents, Napoles recalled everything from memory, Rivera said.
“She started to recall a series of transactions. Hindi nya ma-access records nya, she’s the only one who can figure them out,” he said.
Rivera said, until the court has proven that a client is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, it’s the lawyer's job to defend his client.
“I’m prayerful that it all ends well for all of us, we want the Filipino people to know what happened… At the end of the day, people will know the truth, the people will act on the truth,” he said.