MANILA (UPDATED) - Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is likely enjoying the attention being given to her lists of government officials and other people who allegedly benefited from the scheme, according to the lawyer of key whistleblower Benhur Luy.
"Pinagtatawanan na siguro tayo ni Ginang Napoles ngayon dahil gumawa siya ng listahan, nagkagulo na yung buong bansa natin," Atty. Raji Mendoza told radio dzMM on Wednesday.
Mendoza believes Napoles' camp is just trying to shift the public's attention from the businesswoman herself to her lists, one of which was submitted by former Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
The list contains the names of 11 senators and 69 congressmen, both incumbent and former, and other officials and "agents" allegedly involved in the multibillion-peso scam.
Another pork scam list is in the hands of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and another is with Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines President Sandra Cam. Both have not yet divulged their lists.
According to Mendoza, Napoles could have come up with the lists as a strategy "to perpetuate her stay at the hospital."
Napoles' camp has filed a petition for an extended stay at the Ospital ng Makati (OsMak), where she underwent operation to remove the tumor in her uterus last April 23.
"Parang matagal na masyado... She's already enjoying that privilege," Mendoza said.
He said Napoles must be brought back to Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where she is detained for a serious illegal detention case filed by Luy.
MUM ON NAPOLES, LUY LISTS
Meanwhile, Mendoza refused to comment on the integrity of the Napoles list released by Lacson, noting that it was not signed by the businesswoman. Moreover, Napoles is not even a witness to the case, he said.
"Pag pinatulan po natin yang list na yan, it will only hurt people unnecessarily because hindi pa ho tapos yung imbestigasyon. At para sa akin po, it will not serve any legal purpose," he said.
He also kept mum on the alleged Benhur Luy list released by the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, which includes 25 past and present senators.
"Hindi po kami magcocomment diyan sa mga list, list na lumabas sapagkat unang-una, si Benhur is under obligation not to divulge anything related to an ongoing investigation. So marapat lang po na hindi na siguro namin patulan yan," he said.
In a separate interview with ANC's "Prime Time," Mendoza, however, noted that Luy never authorized anyone to copy his data.
The lawyer also said Luy does not even have a "specific list," but a database containing "a lot of information."
He refused to confirm if the names mentioned on Napoles' list are the same ones in Luy's database.
Mendoza just said the database includes not only names, but events, figures, and reasons why the names are included.
"In due time, malalaman po natin ang lahat ng sangkot. Maingat lang po tayo," he said, noting that allegations must always be substantiated by evidence.
He also said that inclusion in Luy's database does not necessarily mean that that person was involved in the pork barrel scam. It could mean that he or she was only given a gift, he said.
So far, Luy has only implicated 3 senators in the pork barrel scam. They are Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.