Says De Lima too bright to be fooled by Napoles' state witness plea
MANILA- Senator Koko Pimentel said he is prepared to "demolish" the testimony of Janet Napoles and refute the allegation that he is involved in the pork barrel scam.
Pimentel maintained that he did not allocate any portion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Napoles-linked NGOs.
Pimentel said he is ready to face Napoles if she is invited back to a Senate blue ribbon committee on the PDAF scam. He urged her to prepare well and back her claims up with evidence.
“Ang advice ko sa kanya, maghanda siya, pati mga papeles at tsaka dokumento ihanda niya, hindi pwedeng kuwento kasi ang word ni Napoles ay wala namang kahalagahan agad,” Pimentel said.
“Papakinggan ko ang kwento niya. Kasi supposed to be ang listahan parang sinasabi niya ito po ang mga taong ito ang meron akong transaksyon. Ang tanong ko sa kanya, ano ang transaction natin? Kwento mo nga. At papakinggan ko ang kanyang kwento at handa akong i-demolish ang kwento nya lalo na kung mag-iimbento siya.”
Pimentel was among the senators named in the list of officials allegedly involved in the scam. The signed list of Napoles, which was turned over by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima Thursday, was immediately made public by Blue Ribbon committee chair TG Guingona.
Pimentel maintains that Napoles is not qualified to become state witness, adding that her application to be one will fail especially if she is proven to be lying.
“Ang ibig lang sabihin ng signature na ‘yan e handa siyang panindigan ang kanyang listahan. So mag-ready na siya (Napoles) ng mga detalye niya at mga kwento niya kasi mag-ready siya na ma-cross examine diyan sa kanyang pirma, sa kanyang listahan. Kasi kung mahuhuli na nagsisinungaling siya, babagsak ang kanyang buong kwento so ang application niya for state witness ay talagang magiging malabo kung siya ay mapatunayang nagsisinungaling. And I am confident na 'pag dating sa aking pangalan, sorry na lang siya at ako ay handang ipakita na siya po ay nagsisinungaling,” Pimentel said.
“She may be an uneducated but she is not stupid. If she is that stupid, then she knows na bawal po magbigay ng kickback from government projects. So ang sarili niyang argumento ay kanya mismong sinira. So hindi siya talagang qualified na maging state witness. Anyway, sa tingin ko hindi naman maloloko ang Department of Justice diyan to grant her state witness status. Secretary Leila de Lima is too bright to be fooled in her application as state witness.”
Pimentel reiterated that he had said no when Napoles tried to befriend him and sought access to his PDAF. Pimentel said that the list that includes his name is bogus, saying his signature was forged in a letter addressed to the agriculture department to facilitate the release of funds to a “non-existent” organic farming project in Surigao del Sur.
Pimentel has recently filed a case against four DA officials for the forgery.
“May 2012, naki-meeting sa akin si Napoles, arranged by Robert Castañeda, getting to know you. Tapos at the end of the meeting, humingi, ‘Senador, bigyan mo ako ng PDAF.’ Tinanggihan ko, categorically, ‘Hindi for sale ang PDAF ko, hindi ‘yan basta-basta binibigay. Dapat worthwhile projects.’ Ayun, tapos. After that, wala na akong ginawa, except finorge nila ‘yung pirma ko ng October of 2012… nobody will know na forged letter ka na umiikot diyan. What is their proof?” Pimentel said.
“It is a forged letter. So on the basis of a forged letter to DA Secretary Alcala, ako po ay pinipilit ng Napoles syndicate na isama sa kanilang listahan. So para silang mafia, sa ayaw mo o hindi, isama ka namin.”