MANILA - Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged former Senator Ping Lacson to disclose the names said to be part of the list of other senators who are part of the pork barrel scam.
Cayetano said this would give the concerned lawmakers the opportunity to clear their names.
“I have always been in favor of naming names especially if it’s in a document,” Cayetano said.
“Ang appeal ko for Senator Lacson, of course subject to ano napag-usapan nila, ‘yung confidence ng source niya, is to give the details and then just let the people mentioned defend themselves… Given the public interest, given na institutions ang nagsu-suffer dito, given that the innocent is being lumped with the guilty, the more information we get, the better.”
Cayetano also wants Napoles to be invited back to the Senate as soon as she recovers from her operation.
He disagrees with the decision of blue ribbon committee chair TG Guingona to wait for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima “to finish documenting the supposed disclosure” of Napoles.
“I humbly disagree. The evaluation should be done independently by each senator and the committee… Paano kung evaluation ni DOJ [Department of Justice] secretary credible, doon lang kami or kung ang evaluation niya hindi credible. Secondly, ‘yung affidavit, secondary pa ‘yan kasi nakasulat pa ‘yan e. Pero ‘yung tesimonya niya live,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said inviting Napoles back to a hearing will give senators the opportunity to clarify parts of her affidavit.
He added this could also help guarantee her safety if she is indeed in danger.
“Once she is physically well, why should we wait? Kung totoong may knowledge siya na in danger ‘yung life niya, obligation ng Senado na marinig kaagad kasi parang kay Jun Lozada din ‘yan. Once na nakapag-testify na siya dito, ‘yung life niya hindi na in danger kasi nailabas na ang alam e. Pero halimbawa, ‘pag nasa affidavit tapos may mangyari kay Ms. Napoles, lalong magiging in danger ang buhay niya,” he said.
He has this appeal to Napoles:
“Ms. Napoles, if your conscience is bothering you or you’re concerned about your spiritual, physical well-being, tell all right away. Huwag nang mag-strategize, huwag nang magpaimpluwensiya kahit kanino or ano. Come over and… kung mas kumportable siya sa ospital—ginawa na namin noon kay General Garcia ‘yun noong mga congressman kami, kami ang pumunta doon, nasa hospital. We will give all respect and due care to her health. What’s important is we get her testimony ASAP.”
NO TO STATE WITNESS
But Cayetano is against taking Napoles in as state witness for now, saying that she appears to be one of the “most guilty,” along with the three senators earlier named.
He said that Napoles’ statements should be treated with a “grain of salt” and see if she has any agenda.
“I am definitely for the tell-all. I’m definitely for the hearing. Definitely, this will be helpful. But when it comes to making them state witness, as of this point in time, no. I mean there may be info that they can give that can make me change my mind. But at this point in time, it appears that Miss Napoles with the three senators are the most guilty. So she’s not qualified to be a state witness,” he said, but added that he is keeping an open mind.
“I’m willing to listen. Kasi after she talks at lumabas na middleman din siya na parang akala ni Benhur siya ang big boss, ‘yun pala meron pang more guilty or most guilty sa ibabaw niya, that will change the equation.”
Cayetano added that if ever, Napoles should not be allowed to go scot-free.
“I’m still uneasy in making her a state witness and letting her go kasi what message will that tell our people? Sinasabi ba natin na ‘pag nagnakaw ka, lakihan mo na para kapag ka ikaw na ang kumanta at meron kang isasauli na kaunti, ma-abswelto ka,” he said.
Cayetano said conditions should be set. He said that Napoles may be charged for a lesser crime, citing the case of Atong Ang who still spent time in jail even if he testified against former President Joseph Estrada.
“If you cooperate, sasauli ka ng pera at ‘yung information ay vital, pakita ka na sorry ka talaga, magpakulong ka pa rin at sauli ng pera pero pwede pag-usapan under the parameters of the law kung… gaano ka katagal makukulong. Imbes na life imprisonment, kung 8 to 12 years ‘yan, good behavior, in much less makakalabas ka,” Cayetano said.
Meantime, Cayetano urged Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla to resign instead of subjecting them to disciplinary proceedings before the Senate ethics committee.