MANILA - Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano wants Janet Lim Napoles cited in contempt for allegedly lying during her testimony at the Senate Thursday.
He also believes the suspected pork barrel scam mastermind is trying to maneuver her way out of her current legal problems.
Cayetano said it is the duty of the Senate to file a case against Napoles for lying.
He said one problem affecting investigations is that people lying have been unpunished.
Cayetano said Napoles lied when she repeatedly told senators at the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday that she had nothing to do with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
However, Cayetano said a letter sent by Atty. Bruce Rivera to the Blue Ribbon Committee investigating the fertilizer fund scam in 2006 stated that fertilizer purchases of the DA from Jo-Chris Trading were funded by PDAF, and not the fertilizer fund.
Napoles has admitted she owns Jo-Chris Trading.
Upon questioning at yesterday's hearing, Napoles said she knew nothing about the said letter.
"Hindi ko po alam ang sulat na yan," she claimed.
Cayetano added that not all answers merit an invocation of the right against self-incrimination.
Ordinarily, those who abuse that right may be cited in contempt which carries the penalty of detention.
Napoles is already detained for a charge of serious illegal detention.
Cayetano, however, argued that as a matter of principle, Napoles should still be held liable for lying to the Senate.
He hopes that the Supreme Court can come up with a system that will allow for a speedy but fair trial of those lying to investigations for the case of perjury.
Cayetano said if each count of perjury gets 6 months in jail, then Napoles may get 20 years for perjury alone.
He believes that based on how she testified, Napoles is sharp, knew what to say, and what to do.
He said her testimony is a failure in the sense that it showed she was guilty and lying.
Cayetano also believes that the removal of Lorna Kapunan as Napoles' lawyer was part of a strategy to delay the investigation.
He recalled that according to Benhur Luy, Napoles has vaults that are full of money, so she clearly can afford a lawyer.
Cayetano theorizes that Napoles may be buying time either for a friendlier administration to take power in 2016, adding she may even back some candidates in the 2016 elections.
He also said Napoles seems intent on fighting back and insisting on her innocence.
However, Cayetano said it would have been easy for senators to see if she really was innocent.
He also pointed out that Napoles invoked her right against self-incrimination when asked if she personally knew any senator, saying that merely knowing a senator is not incriminating unless there was a crime involved.
Cayetano believes Napoles may be pretending not to know some things, which she can use to maneuver her way out of her problems.
Nevertheless, Cayetano said the testimony was productive for the Senate even if they were not able to get Napoles to tell the truth.
He said the testimony helped them establish the testimonies of the witnesses.
Napoles, however, could have made a better testimony by telling the truth.
Cayetano also believes Napoles is the mastermind of the pork barrel scam, although it seemed to have boomed during the latter part of the Arroyo administration.
"At the very least, central figure in the conspiracy. All conspirators are most guilty. Di siya nautusan lang dito. Siya umuutos," he said.
He also wants Napoles moved to a regular detention center.
He cited police figures showing that they spend P150,000 each time Napoles is transferred out of the Fort Sto. Domingo detention center.
Cayetano also backed Senator Francis Escudero's move to invite Janet's husband, Jaime Napoles, to the next Senate investigation.