MANILA - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a resolution directing the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to include in its pork barrel scam probe the allegedly excessive spending by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
In a resolution, Santiago compared the expenses the PNP is using for Napoles versus those for ordinary detainees. She said the daily spending for Napoles is P5,000 versus the regular prisoner’s P54. In a year, this translates to P1.8 million for Napoles and P20,000 for an ordinary prisoner.
“According to news reports, the PNP spends P120,000 each time Napoles travels for her trials in court, etc…” Santiago said. She also cited reports that the PNP shouldered P3,000 for the businesswoman’s medical examination at the Camp Crame hospital and another P5,000 for a 2D transvaginal ultrasound.
“If Napoles as a person in interest refuses to cooperate with the Department of Justice and the Senate Blue Ribbon committee by providing information which she apparently possesses about the scam, there is no acceptable reason why government should single her out for special treatment among the more than 70,000 detention prisoners in the count,” Santiago said.
She said that if Napoles wants to avail of protection for her safety and security, she should apply to be included in the Witness Protection Program.
“Otherwise, the PNP should immediately bill Napoles under a Cost Recovery Program,” she said.
Meanwhile, Santiago also urged the Blue Ribbon Committee to immediately summon former officials of the National Agri-Business Corp. (NABCOR), Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal, to the hearings.
Both officials earlier said bogus organizations were endorsed by legislators to then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and NABCOR President Alan Javellana.
“Mendoza and Cacal should appear before the Blue Ribbon committee’s ongoing hearing on the pork barrel scam, to testify and submit documents on the criminal involvement of the lawmakers implicated in the scam; they can also testify on how the loopholes in the disbursement of government funds are exploited in order for public officials to plunder public funds,” Santiago said.