For President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, can’t turn state witness since she couldn’t remember anything.
Speaking to reporters, the President said that Napoles has not offered any information that would help prosecute the case.
He again cracked the old joke about Napoles not remembering anything when her life would be featured on “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
“Narinig na ninyo iyong joke na natatanggap ko e, di ba, ‘yung sa ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ at wala raw siyang maalala. So far, ganoon pa rin yata ngayon (You’ve heard the joke I received, the program ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and she still can’t remember. So far, it’s still like that),” Aquino said.
The joke pokes fun at Napoles’ hours-long appearance at the Senate, where she was probed by senators on the scam. Napoles frustrated lawmakers and viewers with her consistent response: “Hindi ko alam [I don’t know]” or “Hindi ko matandaan [I can’t remember].”
Maalaala Mo Kaya is a drama anthology series aired on television based on true stories.
“Paano natin masasabing dapat maging witness siya kung wala siyang binabahaging impormasyon? [How can she be a state witness if she can’t share information?],” Aquino pointed out.
According to him, Napoles could not be considered the least guilty as she’s in the “center” of the whole scam.
“We can say that the common link to all those supposedly involved, at least as far as one segment of the scam is involved, is Ms. Napoles,” the President said in the vernacular, adding “Is she the mastermind? It’s not yet clear but she is at the center of the many people linked in the alleged scam.”
Meanwhile, the President said that it is still up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine if Napoles is qualified to be a state witness.
If she will share information, then it is up to the DOJ to analyze if it can help the case, he said
The 50-year-old Napoles is currently detained at Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna province on plunder charges related to the pork barrel scandal.
In the illegal detention case, Napoles is accused of detaining whistle blower Benhur Luy against his will inside her condominium unit in Taguig City.
Serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense.