Napoles, not the most guilty? - PNoy

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2014 12:53 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2014 08:53 PM

MANILA - President Aquino believes it is still "premature" to say if Janet Napoles can qualify as a state witness in the cases against alleged perpetrators of the pork barrel scam.

He said that Napoles has not offered any information that would help prosecute the case.

He brought up an old joke about Napoles not remembering anything when the program "Maalaala Mo Kaya" was supposed to interview her for her life story.

"Wala pa akong naririnig na gusto niyang ibahagi na impormasyon. So paano natin masasabing dapat maging state witness siya kung wala siyang binabahaging impormasyon," Aquino told reporters.

"Kung mayroon mang ibabahagi siyempre nasa [Department of Justice] para i-analisa kung nakakatulong ba sa kaso 'to dahil kinakailangang ma-meet ang criteria na not most guilty. E sa ngayon parang siya ang nasa sentro so paano mo masasabing not the most guilty."

When asked if Napoles can be considered as the "mastermind" of the scam, Aquino said that Napoles appears to be the "center" who is the "common link" of all the personalities allegedly involved.

"Masasabi natin na tila ang common link ng lahat ng supposed to be involved as far as one segment of this scam is concerned is Ms. Napoles. Siya ba ang pasimuno? Di ganoon ka-klaro pa pero nasa sentro siya ng involvement diumano ng maraming mga tao," he said.

Napoles is accused of masterminding the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam involving government officials and lawmakers. The scam saw Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations of lawmakers being used for ghost projects of fake non-government organizations set up by Napoles.

The Commission on Audit report said over P2 billion in pork barrel funds were funneled to Napoles NGOs from 2007-2009.