MANILA -- The camp of Janet Napoles admitted its mistake in including Senator JV Ejercito in the list of those who allegedly received kickbacks from the pork barrel.
“The encoder made a mistake. He’s not included. We apologize to Senator JV,” lawyer Bruce Rivera said.
Despite this, Ejercito is still planning to file a case against the businesswoman, saying the damage has been done.
“I will forgive them now, but I’ll look [into filing a case] because the damage has already been done,” he said.
Even the Department of Justice and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee are liable for releasing the Napoles list sans any evidence to back it up, according to the senator.
“It’s irresponsible to release the list without the necessary documentary evidence. It’s the innocent who are affected,” Ejercito said.
Committee head Senator Teofisto Guingona III released the signed initial list last Thursday despite appeals from de Lima, saying it’s time to put an end to all speculations amid the disclosure of several unsigned lists.
In a separate interview with radio dzMM, Rivera said Napoles is anxious that different stories and lists are coming out, which he said was meant only to muddle the entire issue.
Rivera also slammed the so-called list from whistleblower Sandra Cam. “We don’t know her motives for claiming she has a list. We have not given her any,” the lawyer said, adding that the personalities that Cam claims to be part of the modus “are not part of the initial list, and won’t be part of the next list.”
Napoles is now preparing a second affidavit, which will supposedly name more in the pork barrel scam.
“I don’t want to preempt what is written on her second affidavit… but those are personalities with whom Napoles had transactions once or twice, either senator or congressman,” Rivera said.
The initial list they submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima contained names with whom the businesswoman have had several transactions.
“This is why we needed to complete the second affidavit. She could not remember the first time all the names. Those on the second affidavit are isolated transactions,” Rivera said.
The lawyer added that this will not also cover the Malampaya fund scam, which also tagged Napoles as the mastermind. He said they need to rush the completion of the second affidavit, in time for the deadline set by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Despite the supposed tell-all of Napoles, some quarters still do not want her to become state witness.
“We do not deny that she wants to become state witness. We just don’t want to emphasize that her request is a condition to her issuing a testimony,” Rivera said.
To become a state witness, the person must not be the “most guilty,” which would describe Napoles’ role in the entire scam, he added.
Rivera stressed that Napoles could never be the mastermind of the entire pork scam.
“Napoles is not that sophisticated to know the goings-on in the Senate and House of Representatives… The whole pork scam can’t have been planned without the coordination of the lawmakers and the implementing agencies,” he pointed out.
He also noted the Commission on Audit (COA) report that named other bogus nongovernment organizations not connected to Napoles.
“Don’t focus on one person only. You will then know that it was not Mrs. Napoles who thought of this fraud. When she entered into the picture, the modus was already being implemented,” he said.