Janet Lim-Napoles keeps documents that will back up her lists of senators and congressmen who allegedly got kickbacks from her in exchange for funneling their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) that she owned or controlled.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to get those papers that are seen to pin down those whom Napoles has implicated in the P10-billion PDAF or pork barrel scam.
De Lima, however, did not say where exactly the documents are stored or who their custodian is.
The “NBI is now trying to get those documents from her, as part of the ongoing vetting/fact-finding process into the veracity of her allegations in the two affidavits,” she told reporters in a text message.
De Lima said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying its best to get hold of whatever documentary evidence that will show that indeed those named in the lists received their kickbacks, including the commissions of those who acted as agents for lawmakers.
Napoles submitted to the Justice chief two lists, which she later turned over to the Senate blue ribbon committee.
The first list, consisting 53 pages, including photocopies of checks amounting to millions, was turned over to the committee on May 11.
The second list included 18 senators who got kickbacks from PDAF projects and two more senators—Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Escudero—who received campaign funds from Napoles.
It was given to panel chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd on May 26.
The current and former senators named by Napoles in her lists were Rodolfo Biazon, Robert Barbers, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Luisa “Loi” Ejercito, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Robert Jaworski, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Tessie Aquino-Oreta, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Ramon Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto 3rd, Cynthia Villar and Manuel Villar.
Napoles said Manuel Villar, a defeated 2016 presidential candidate, had also received a campaign fund from her.
The Napoles lists also tagged former congressmen who either served or have resigned from the Aquino Cabinet.
They are Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Customs commissioner Rufino Rozzano Biazon, Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Zenaida Ducut and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva.
Some of the congressmen from Metro Manila on the lists are Matias Defensor and Nanette Castelo Daza of Quezon City, Oscar Malapitana and Recom Echeverri of Caloocan City and Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque City.
The lawyer of Napoles, Bruce Rivera, also on Monday confirmed that NBI agents have called him and requested the documents.
“I will have to go to Fort Santo Domingo to tell Mrs. Napoles of the request,” Rivera said, referring to the police camp in Santa Rosa, Laguna, where the businesswoman is detained.
Napoles was sent back to Fort Santo Domingo after getting treatment from Ospital ng Makati in Makati City (Metro Manila). She is facing serious illegal detention charges lodged by pork scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, her former employee.
De Lima said her probers will verify first the information given by Napoles in her two lists.
According to her, she is more interested in finding the basis of allegations against Napoles rather than pushing for the businesswoman as state witness.
Meanwhile, lawmakers said Luy should explain why some files were deleted from his hard drive.
“Whether files were deleted should not be a deal breaker on the relevance of the hard drive files in prosecuting all those involved. Secretary de Lima should make Luy explain the back story of these files,” Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan party-list said.
House Deputy Minority Leader Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list agreed, saying Luy should explain if he had anything to do with the deletions.
House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption party-list and Rep. Marcy Teodoro of Marikina City (Metro Manila) argued that Luy’s credibility could stand and fall on how he can corroborate the contents of his hard drive.
WITH A REPORT FROM LLANESCA T. PANTI