MANILA - The camp of Janet Lim Napoles said they have evidence to support the inclusion of the names on their list of those supposedly involved in the pork barrel scam.
Her lawyer, Bruce Rivera, is only asking for time for his client to complete her affidavit and supplemental affidavits.
“In time. Malapit na,” he said when asked about the release of the Napoles list and affidavits.
He asked the public to keep an open mind and not prejudge the businesswoman.
“I’m quite confident that if people will hear her side, they will have a different opinion of her [in the end],” he said.
He said “there is truth” in the unsigned affidavit submitted by former Senator Panfilo Lacson to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday, which quoted Napoles as saying she is not a “bad person.”
She was also quoted in the unsigned affidavit as saying: “Had I known that giving commission was illegal, I would have not done such a thing.”
Rivera clarified Napoles stated this as a “personal fact, and not a legal defense.” He said Napoles can’t plead ignorance of the law.
“She’s not escaping liability. It was just, in the beginning, she was saying: ‘Ganito pala ang kalakaran dito?’ She’s a businesswoman, so she expected a margin...of profit,” he said.
Napoles did not even consider the commissions as “kickbacks” but as “rebates,” he said.
'NAPOLES NOT THE NEW MEGAMIND'
He said that once the official affidavit comes out, the public will realize that Napoles did not “envision nor invent” the whole pork barrel scam. “Somebody pointed it out to her.”
Rivera also blasted lawyer Levito Baligod, the former counsel of whistleblower Benhur Luy, who claimed the Napoles list was done by someone out to muddle the issue, and that Napoles may plead insanity in the end.
“You’re claiming she’s the mastermind, but also insane? Mrs. Napoles may have become the new Megamind (supervillain) in the entire world,” he said, dismissing Baligod’s claims.
The Napoles affidavit released by Lacson also claimed Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was the one who mentored the businesswoman.
“I can’t confirm the contents of the affidavit, but what I can confirm is that we gave a partial and unsigned copy to Lacson… I have no authority from my principal to confirm the contents,” he said.
Napoles claimed she met with Abad in 2000. But Baligod, on Tuesday, came to the defense of Abad, saying Napoles sought a meeting with Abad only in 2012. Abad said he rejected her request.
Rivera said Baligod should stop lawyering for Abad.
“If he wants to tell the truth, then he should be happy that Mrs. Napoles is already telling everything,” he said.
Rivera said Baligod also released piecemeal the names of those supposedly involved in the pork barrel scam. “When they filed, there were only three names… Baligod should also check his own mind, his own conscience.”
Rivera declined to say how many names are on the official Napoles list.
He also insisted it can’t be sanitized. “We took a picture of the list. Marami ang may kopya noong picture… If someone sanitizes the list, I will be the first to cry out.”