Not even Sen. Miriam Santiago’s fire and brimstone approach could force Janet Lim-Napoles into admitting involvement in the pork barrel scheme or implicating the lawmakers who were conniving with her.
Santiago came out full bore when her turn to question Napoles came during Thursday’s Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing.
She raised her voice not only to admonish Napoles but to fire a broadside at her colleagues whom she said was “jealous” of her.
At one point, the senator asked Napoles point-blank, “Are you willing to be jailed for 20 to 40 years just to protect those who are involved?”
Santiago also took potshots at Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who has been charged with plunder together with Napoles.
She asked Napoles to stop protecting those who are considered the “most guilty” in the controversy before they can assassinate her.
“Kung si Enrile ang the most guilty sabihin mo na ngayon para malibre ka na at hindi ka niya ipapapatay [If Enrile is the most guilty then admit it now so you could be free and not end up dead],” Santiago said.
She belittled Napoles’ intellect, saying that given her educational background, she could not have pulled off a scam as elaborate as the one involving Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations.
Santiago said she is certain a senator or a group of senators was calling the shots, not Napoles.
She asked Napoles if Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. were the senators referred to as “tanda,” “sexy” and “pogi” in documents linked to the businesswoman.
Instead of giving a reply Napoles invoked her right against self-incrimination.
Enrile, Estrada and Revilla are included in the plunder case filed by the Department of Justice before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Santiago also reminded her Napoles that while she is entitled to deny accusations against her, she should not lie under oath.
Santiago slammed fellow senators who had been insisting that Napoles be granted immunity and saying that her appearance in the hearing transformed it into a circus.
According to Santiago senators who doesn’t have any degree in law and did not even finished college should not pretend that they know the law.
Santiago did not name the senator the lawmaker, but Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd earlier said that the Senate could grant immunity to Napoles to persuade her to tell all.
Osmeña was quoted as saying that it’s always a circus every time Santiago is in the Senate.
Santiago attended the Blue Ribbon hearing despite being on sick leave.