THE list just got longer.
The sworn affidavit submitted by Janet Lim-Napoles to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday contained the names of 20 incumbent and former senators and 100 congressmen who were allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, a former representative, was also included, as well as Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Energy Regulatory Commission chief Zenaida Ducut.
Bruce Rivera, Napoles’ legal counsel, handed the sworn affidavit to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima along with the businesswoman’s appeal to be admitted to the Witness Protection Program (WPP). De Lima submitted the affidavit to the Senate blue ribbon committee, which in turn released copies to the media.
The affidavit detailed transactions involving the use of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of lawmakers and the legislators who allegedly benefited from questionable projects funded by their PDAF or pork barrel.
On the list were 20 incumbent and former senators—Rodolfo Biazon, Robert Barbers, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Loren Legarda, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Tessie Aquino Oreta, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto, Cynthia Villar, Manuel Villar, Allan Peter Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Luisa “Loi” Ejercito Estrada, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Robert Jaworski and Lito Lapid.
The 100 incumbent and former members of the House of Representatives were led by Abad, Carlos Padilla, Manuel “Way” Kurat, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Joaquin Chipeco, Cynthia Villar, Heminda Georgilu Yumul, Rodolfo San Luis and Rolex Suplico.
So far, only Enrile, Estrada and Revilla have been charged at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Napoles’ 32-page affidavit was written in Filipino.
She maintained that she was not the mastermind of the pork scam.
“Matagal na ang ganitong kalakaran o sistema. Sa katunayan, iba-iba lang ang pangalan ng pork barrel. Nuong 1990s ito ay tinawag na Countrywide Development Fund at naging PDAF —Priority Development Assistance Fund nuong 2000 [This system has been going on for so long. In truth, pork barrel had different names – Countrywide Development Fund in the 1990s that became PDAF in 2000],” she said.
“Wala din akong kakayahang diktahan, utusan at kontrolin ang mga mambabatas at mga opisyal ng implementing agencies at wala din akong kinalaman sa pag-release ng pondo sa DBM [I had no power to dictate upon, order or control lawmakers and officials of implementing agencies. I also had no hand in the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management],” Napoles added.
Napoles also identified the government agencies that participated in the pork barrel transactions and the officials and “agents” involved.
These are the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Transportation, National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), a government –owned and controlled corporation under the DA, National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) and Technology Resource Center (TRC).
The officials included former Nabcor chief Allan Javellana, former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza and former TRC chief Dennis Cunanan. Mendoza died of a heart attack last year.
In the list of “agents,” Napoles included the names of Ofelia Agawin, Alan Umali and Jimmy Patocabe, Rhodora Mendoza, Narciso Nieto, Teresita Panlilio, Santidad Venancio, Rene Maglanque, Alexis Sevidal and Antoni Ortiz.
Napoles stressed that of all the many personalities involved in the scam, she was not the most guilty.
“Hindi po ako isang elected o appointed official o empleyado ng pamahalan na may mataas na katungkulan at responsibilidad na pangalagaan ang pondo ng bayan,” she said in her affidavit.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, chairman of the blue ribbon panel, said the sworn affidavit will support documents earlier submitted to the Senate.
Guingona added that he will receive on Wednesday the files of Benhur Luy. He will also call for a meeting of the members of the committee to discuss the schedule of the hearing.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th and Cynthia Villar rejected outright the demand of Napoles that her children be spared from prosecution.
Cayetano said Napoles, Luy and Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, the former chief of staff of Enrile, must be required to appear before the Senate blue ribbon committee when it looks into the Napoles list to clarify issues.
Ready to talk
Stephen David, Napoles’ counsel, said his client will talk if she is again summoned by the Senate.
Suspicions on the businesswoman’s credibility were raised in the last Senate hearing after she refused to answer questions from senators.
“She [Napoles] was not lying. When she said that she’s invoking her right against self- incrimination, she meant she knows something, but will not talk about it kasi ikapapahamak niya yun [because it will harm her],” David explained.
The lawyer said Napoles did not answer some questions during the hearing for security reasons. Besides, he added, Napoles had not finished writing her affidavit.
“She really wants to be a state witness and obtain immunity,” David said.
With Ruffie Cruz and Jomar Canlas