Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is just waiting for the full recovery of businesswoman Janet Lim- Napoles to give her the chance to make the “full disclosure or tell all” of her sworn affidavit identifying all people involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr., LP vice president, also urged ex-Sen. Panfilo Lacson, now presidential assistant on rehabilitation and recovery, to name names or shut up.
“I can’t understand where Lacson is coming from. He should put up or shut up,” Belmonte stressed.
Although De Lima already knows who are the people involve and has the power to divulge the affidavit for it is already considered public document still claimed that she wanted Napoles herself to divulge all the information in the affidavit about the scam including the names of politicians.
But House Deputy Majority Leader and Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna said de Lima should not name names until proper investigation and verifications on the content of Napoles’ affidavit have been made.
“The best thing for Secretary de Lima to do is to follow the legal and fair procedure, that is, conduct a fast and thorough investigation based on Napoles’ affidavit, supporting documentary evidence (if there is) and testimonial evidence and file a case in the Ombudsman. After the filing, that is the proper time to release the list,” Tugna said.
Tugna also expressed believe that de Lima would not sanitize the list, saying she is dedicated and honest to her work.
“As to possibility of sanitizing, our citizenry should look at the track record of our secretary of Justice. She is a lady of integrity and good track record. I believe she will not allow herself to be used for political purposes,” Tugna added.
Earlier, de Lima confirmed that apart from Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy “Jose” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., there were additional names mentioned by Napoles in her “tell-all” affidavit, where she revealed the involvement of lawmakers in the fund anomaly.
Lacson claimed that there were at least 12 senators in the list provided to him by the husband of Napoles, Jimmy, last month that formed part of a draft affidavit they prepared in relation to the pork barrel scam.
Paranaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting, Abakada party list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz and Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao said it is the sworn duty of de Lima to enlighten the people by disclosing the names of those implicated and give them the chance to air their side.
Tambunting said the people want to know the politicians who have been implicated by Napoles in her affidavit, adding naming names will do good for the sake of transparency.
“The public wanted to know and they deserve to know the details. If Napoles’ statement is already in affidavit form, it is a public document that can be made available to the public,” Tambunting, a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said.
“It is not fair and just to withhold the names for so long. She has the obligation to disclose in full not in a selective striptease way what she discussed with Napoles and what commitments she made if any. She is the lawyer of the Filipino people not Napoles,” dela Cruz explained.
But Tarlac Rep. Noel Villanueva, a member of Nacionalista Party (NP), said Napoles doubts that she has “zero credibility” after deciding to close her mouth during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.
“Mayroon pa bang credibility si Napoles considering her testimony during the Senate hearing? Para sa akin kasi lahat ng sasabihin ni Napoles after Senate hearing is pure trash, zero credibility na siya. She lost the golden opportunity to speak the truth when she appeared before the Senate. Sa akin i-release man ang affidavit niya wala ng maniniwala diyan,” Villanueva explained.
Villanueva also said it is de Lima’s discretion to reveal in full the details of Napoles affidavit especially there are considerations with regard to the veracity of the information given.
“It is up to her. It is her discretion,” Villanueva said.
For his part, Agarao said de Lima should help to make the latest disclosure of Napoles credible by disclosing the details of her affidavit.
“Dapat iyun talaga para maging katanggap-tanggap ang pag amin ni Napoles,” Agarao, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said. PNA