PNoy says Napoles unfit to be state witness

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2014 03:38 PM | Updated as of May 20 2014 05:12 AM

'Napoles may be trying to bring the house down'

MANILA - President Aquino doesn't think Janet Lim Napoles is fit to be given immunity in the pork barrel scam.

The President said it is important to note that a state witness must be considered the "least guilty" in the crime instead of being the center of all the controversy.

He said the Department of Justice also needs to vet all her revelations in the pork scam.

"Dahil nasa sentro siya, siya ang koneksyon ng lahat parang mahirap naman yata sabihin na at this point, sa nababatid ko, paano natin sasabihing siya'y not the most guilty kung nasa sentro siya?" he said.

Napoles is alleged to have organized the bogus non-government organizations that implemented ghost projects funded from lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Napoles allegedly carried out the scam in cahoots with lawmakers who allocated their pork barrel to her NGOs.

At least three senators - Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada - are facing charges after being linked to the scam.

Different lists attributed to Napoles supposedly name more senators and congressmen in the scam including three who now sit in the Aquino Cabinet: Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva.

Aquino said the government is making sure that the emergence of different lists of alleged beneficiaries cannot be exploited to delay the prosecution of the pork barrel scam.

He said following all the leads in the different lists could just delay the investigation further.

"Inamin na rin niya siguro strategy ng ibang akusado-ano 'yung phrase? Bring the whole house down. Pare-pareho na lang tayong may kasalanan, etcetera; guluhin ang usapan," he said.

Aquino pointed out that Napoles initially did not want to talk to government about what she knows of the scam, only to change her mind and seek an audience with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

"Nagpadala ng listahan-sa akin din niyo nakuha 'yan. Yung unang listahan katorse ang senador na binanggit, sampu ang incumbent. Yung panibagong listahan, minus three. Yung sinabi nung abogada nabasa ko sa pahayagan, na 'yung tinatapos nilang affidavit magdagdagdag at hindi ko alam kung magbabawas rin," he said.

The President said whatever Napoles says in her affidavit will be helpful to the case.

"Kung hindi siya magsasabi ng totoo, matutulungan rin tayo dahil kailangan mong suportahan 'yung pagsisinungaling ng katotohanan. So mangyari ang mangyari kausapin natin ito, may mapupulot tayo sa kanya even willingly or unwillingly from here."

Aquino also expressed satisfaction at the progress of the investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman, which is reportedly filing cases against the three senators once Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales returns from an overseas trip.

"Di ba, binigay na sa Ombudsman, at sa Ombudsman patapos na yata, magpa-file na sila at 'yon ang inaabangan natin, na 'yung pinakamatibay ang kaso o 'yung mga ebidensiyang matibay ay talagang maisampa kaagad 'yung mga kasong kaukulan. Meron rin itong government funds. Siyempre, dadaan rin sa Ombudsman at ako naman may kumpiyansa sa Ombudsman na talagang ginagawa 'yung trabaho proper and in timely manner."