Palace: Napoles list will not be sanitized

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2014 08:15 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2014 04:15 AM

MANILA - A Palace official on Tuesday assured the public that Janet Lim Napoles' supposed tell-all testimony will not be sanitized to save administration allies.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that is the expectation following Napoles' testimony that has been submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

"Yes. That’s the expectation of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. I think Secretary Leila de Lima already mentioned in her briefing this afternoon that she wants the testimony without any political color," he said.

De Lima met with President Aquino early Tuesday following her own meeting with Napoles Monday night.

Lacierda said Aquino instructed De Lima to continue with her evaluation of the testimony of Napoles.

“The meeting this morning with Secretary Leila de Lima was primarily a meeting on the Department of Energy," he said.

"Before meeting with Ms. Janet Napoles, she informed the President, and the President just instructed her to listen to the testimony and evaluate. She briefed the President afterwards and it’s still the same instruction given to Secretary Leila de Lima: To evaluate the testimony given by—or whatever statements that Ms. Janet Napoles gave last night."

Lacierda said Napoles' testimony is a significant development. He said De Lima did not give a timetable for the evaluation.

"Even si Secretary Leila de Lima, in her briefing this afternoon, made it very, very clear that the statements of Ms. Janet Napoles will still be evaluated, and the facts stated therein would also be validated by the NBI investigation team," he added.

"But this is a significant development in our quest to find the truth. So a new avenue has been opened and so that's where Secretary Leila de Lima and her team will now be investigating and evaluating the credence of the testimony of Ms. Janet Napoles."

Lacierda, however, said the matter of Napoles' admission as a state witness will be up to the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan.

For now, she remains an accused.

“There is no presumed conclusion as to [whether] can she be a state witness? That has to go through the process of evaluation. And remember, the final arbiter to that would be the Sandiganbayan, because the Ombudsman should—will also evaluate if she can properly be discharged as a state witness—because it’s (with) the court. You have to apply before the court."

Napoles is supposedly the mastermind of the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam that allegedly benefited several lawmakers from 2007-2009 through kickbacks from projects implemented by her bogus non-government organizations.