De Lima: Napoles list ready, affidavit incomplete
MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is ready to surrender to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee the list of lawmakers identified by Janet Lim Napoles as allegedly involved in the "pork barrel scam."
She said, however, that Napoles' affidavit may take some time to complete.
Speaking to reporters in a chance interview on Tuesday, De Lima said she may seek an extension of the May 15 deadline set by the committee if the affidavit is not completed and submitted to her by the Napoles camp by then.
De Lima and her team started to access the alleged "pork scam queen" beginning last April 21, when the justice chief and Napoles engaged in a 5-hour long meeting.
Napoles divulged details of the scam, involving her supposed cohorts, in that meeting and in succeeding sessions with a team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) tasked to obtain her statement.
"Hopefully, makuha ko yun o masubmit sa amin on or before the Thursday deadline, that was given to me by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
"Kung hindi, hihingi siguro ako ng konting extension from the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the affidavit. So it really depends. But again, May I just reiterate that I will comply with the subpoena," De Lima said.
De Lima was previously adamant against sharing the list and making it public, but said she would have no choice once subpoenaed by the Senate which conducted an inquiry into the
Asked for comment on Sec. Panfilo Lacson's revelation on ABS-CBN's late night newscast, Bandila, about the inclusion of budget chief Butch Abad, and Senators Chiz Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gringo Honasan, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago in the list, De Lima said she would rather not confirm nor deny anything.
"I cannot be confirming anything on that at this point dahil alam nyo naman na nagsubpoena na o nag issue na ng subpoena ung Senate Blue Ribbon Cmte na pinapasubmit na po sa akin on or before Thursday, May 15, the certified true copies as received nung Napoles list/affidavit,” she said.
"Ayaw ko na makadagdag pa sa mga scena-scenario ngayon na kanya-kanya nang pagni-name ng names, kanya-kanya nang pagdidisclose. Ayaw ko po yun. Para sa akin, nakakagulo pa ang mga ganyan so hintayin na lang natin because yung Senate Blue Ribbon Committee or the Senate would know [what to do]," she added.
"Ayaw ko na muna po masyado nang pagpipyestahan pag I will start saying 'oo tama, nandyan yan sa listahan o wala sa listahan,'" she said.
If there's one person who can best talk about the list and give details about the involvement of the personalities in that list in the multi-billion peso siphoning of lawmakers' "pork barrel" into bogus NGOs and projects, that is none other than Napoles herself, according to De Lima.
"Kasi ako lang ang nagsusubmit. Nabigyan ako ng listahan na yan, so the best person really to ask would be Mrs. Napoles herself," De Lima said.
It is impossible for her to alter or sanitize the list as some quarters fear, because the list was duly signed by Napoles, De Lima stressed.
"Yung listahan na yan, yan yung galing kay Mrs. Napoles. May pirma pa nga yan, yung listahan na yan, kaya nga hindi mangyayari yung sinasabi o agam-agam ng iba na babaguhin ko yung listahan na yan, that I will add or delete,” she said.
"How can I add or delete from that list when napirmahan nga yan, galing sa kanya?"
The Blue Ribbon Committee has yet to announce if it will reopen the "pork barrel scam" investigation with this latest development.