Former senator and current rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday the number of senators allegedly involved in the pork barrel fund scam was “enough to ratify a treaty.”
In an ambush interview, Lacson told reporters that there are more senators involved than what he had initially said.
“Actually, what I said was wrong when I said enough to constitute a quorum. Actually [it’s] enough to ratify a treaty,” Lacson said, referring to his previous statement that the number of lawmakers who benefited from the scam were enough to separately make up quorums in both houses of Congress.
There are 24 senators, and the ratification of a treaty would require at least 16 of them.
The minimum number required for a quorum is 13.
According to Lacson, he received a copy of the affidavit from Napoles’ husband Jimmy in March, several weeks before Napoles talked to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
He said he was also given a USB stick which he initially thought contained documents.
Lacson said he did not know why Napoles gave him a copy of her draft affidavit, or if she gave a duplicate to Whistle Blowers Association president Sandra Cam, who earlier this week said there are about 100 legislators on a list given to her by an unimpeachable source, including 16 senators.
Lacson said he was told that the only copy was given to him.
“I don’t know where that
Lacson, an administration ally, also said he did not inform President Benigno Aquino 3rd of his meeting with the Napoles camp, since he felt the documents were not complete.
He said that he had asked for affidavits, exact special release allotment order numbers and supporting documents.
“I wouldn’t just bite on the basis of a mere say-so by Napoles,” he added.
Lacson downplayed concerns that Napoles may be taking all of them for a ride.
“Well, she can play games for all I care, she’s the one in jail after all,” he said.
“I know how to evaluate documents. She cannot trick me because I really asked for documents. It cannot be say-so, it cannot be narration, it cannot be unsigned affidavits,” he said.
De Lima earlier refused to reveal new details about Napoles’ sworn statement, saying that her information still needed to be validated.
Lacson expressed confidence in De Lima who is now being accused of delaying the release of the Napoles affidavit to protect administration allies who were implicated.
“Knowing her, she would not clean up the list,” he said.
Lacson said he will “call the attention of authorities” if the Department of Justice releases a sanitized list.
“If I have people on my list that is not included [in theirs]who happen to be allied with Malacañang – I will know that it’s been cleaned. Then I will come out,” he said.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE