Palace: Napoles turnaround won't affect Bangsamoro law

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2014 05:04 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2014 01:04 AM

MANILA – The Palace is confident that the recent developments in the pork barrel scam case will not affect the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law after alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles decided to speak up and reportedly implicated more lawmakers.

Former Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said Napoles' husband, Jaime, and her two children, met with him last March and turned over several documents, including a draft affidavit, containing details on the multibillion-peso anomaly and a list of personalities involved in it.

In the unsigned affidavit, Napoles linked more than 100 people to the multibillion-peso anomaly. The list included at least 10 other senators, as well as congressmen, officials of the executive department, and other government agency officials.

''I couldn’t speculate on that point yet as to the congressmen because, again, I am not aware of who are included. And even assuming that they are there, they will have to be evaluated. The testimony will have to be evaluated and supported by and validated by evidence also,'' Lacierda said.

''Whatever testimony that has been shared by Mrs. Napoles to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will still have to be evaluated. Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem because… This will now depend on the investigation, evaluation proper of the DOJ."

Lacierda said the Bangsamoro Transition Commission already submitted the law's final draft to the Palace.

He said President Benigno Aquino III aims to submit the draft law to Congress by the time it resumes session on the first week of May.

''The Bangsamoro Basic Law has… I understand it has been submitted… Let me also say that as we were working through the framework - comprehensive agreement, we were already in touch with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission,'' Lacierda said.

The basic law is the next step to institutionalize the recently signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The agreement seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in southern Philippines.

The bill, once enacted into a law, will abolish the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).