Ten questions they didn’t, couldn’t ask at the Napoles hearing

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When Janet Lim-Napoles arrived at the hall for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last Friday, she was dour-looking, but surprisingly—or not so surprisingly— confident. When she left, she was smiling and even animatedly shook hands with her persecutor, justice secretary Leila de Lima who was visibly shocked at the gesture.

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No wonder.

There were many questions just begging to be asked at the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last Friday on the pork-barrel scam. Amazingly, the senators didn’t. Napoles most probably slept well that night in the unpolluted air of a Sta. Rosa town.

Napoles could even have been briefed—”prepped” is the term—so that her answers would conclusively debunk allegations that she had been a big financial supporter of President Aquino and the Liberal Party in the elections of 2010 and 2013.

But I guess Aquino and his senators calculated that given Napoles personality, they couldn’t rely on her to reply the way they would have wanted to.

Aquino with Napoles and husband: And the senators didn’t even ask, or were afraid to ask her if the President is a family friend?

Aquino with Napoles and husband: And the senators didn’t even ask, or were afraid to ask her if the President is a family friend?

Follows are questions that quite obviously could have been asked of Napoles, if only the senators weren’t subservient to Aquino and didn’t want to open “Napoles’ box”, had a different agenda as in the case of Alan Cayetano, which was to link the former president to the scam, or as in the case of two neophyte senators, if they weren’t just too dimwitted.

These questions do not directly involve the plunder and tax evasion cases filed against her, so she would not have been able to invoke her right to self-incrimination.

1. What was the occasion or occasions when photos of you, your husband, and your daughter were taken with the President? Have you had another occasion, other than when you surrendered, to talk with the President regarding any matter other than social banter?

The question is important even if only it would provide the entire nation occasion to decipher her body language whether she was telling the truth or not.

This is especially so if you consider the following:

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was Philippine president for nine years, and probably attended ten times the public social events Aquino did. But not a single photo—and I was told Aquino’s operatives ransacked all the files of Palace photographers looking for one—has been found of Arroyo with Napoles.

In contrast, less than two years in office in 2012 (the date of the photos) and there are photos of Aquino smiling ear to ear not only with “Ma’m Janet” (as his sidekick Mar Roxas referred to her), but also with her husband, her daughter Jeane, and apparently several of her amigas.

Napoles would find herself cringing to answer the question. She couldn’t say “I don’t remember,” as she posed not just with anybody, but the most powerful man in the country.

If she invoked her right against self-incrimination, that would presume that she had illegal deals with the President. The question would lead to other questions that could shed light who this woman—if she did what her accuser Benhur Luy claims she did, that she fooled the government bureaucracy for a decade—is: Who invited you to meet Aquino, or to the event? Have you met Aquino before he was President? Do you know any of Aquino’s main officials or relatives?

2. What time were you brought to Malacañang Palace when you surrendered, and what did you talk about with the President and his officials? Can you relate the details of how you were supposedly met by Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda for you to surrender to the President? Did you have a separate meetings or discussions with either Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, local government and interior secretary Manuel Roxas, and Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras when you were in the Palace, and what did you talk about with them? What did you and the President talk about while you were in the presidential car on the way to Camp Crame from Malacañang?

Questions to this would establish if the Palace is treating her as a VIP for some important reason or not.

3. What was the occasion when you and your husband were taken photos of with Senate President Franklin Drilon? Have you had an occasion, other than when you surrendered, to talk with Senator Drilon or his representative regarding any matter other than social banter?

Her answers or even her refusal to answer would obviously be useful to finding out who this woman is, why seems to be hobnobbing with the second or third most powerful man in the country.

(An intriguing question has arisen in the hearing: Why didn’t Drilon—one of the few lawyers in the committee—ask Napoles any question? If you’ve been watching televised Senate hearings, as well as the impeachment trial of Corona, Drilon never misses a chance to ask a witness or a resource person a question. Why didn’t he in this case? Was he afraid, as has been asked by many in social media, that Napoles would make the mistake of greeting him, “Hello, Frank, kamusta ka na?”)

4. Have you talked with any government official or politician to discuss your case or how you should defend yourself against the allegations ever since you were accused by Benhur Luy of being the brains of the pork-barrel scam, especially after the court ordered you arrested?

However, it wasn’t only Napoles who was invited at the Blue Ribbon hearing, and it would have been an opportunity to get information from them that could have shed light on the pork-barrel scam: Rene Villa, Benhur Luy and his “whistleblower” colleagues, their lawyer Levito Baligod, officials of the National Bureau of Investigation involved in the case, and most especially Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

These people could have provided valuable information on the scam since unlike Napoles, no case has been filed against them, and therefore they could not have invoked their right against self-incrimination.

The threat of perjury would have impelled them to tell the truth, which is not the case with Napoles since it is the courts where she has been charged in that would determine the truth. And after all, if the Senate committee found her guilty of contempt or perjury, what penalty would they mete out—detention?

What Senators should have asked them, on Wednesday.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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25 Comments

  1. Since the former president GMA was so well put up in the pedestal for not having a picture with Napoles, which sounded like GMA being trumpeted by an angel in heavencan we hear something about GMA’s role in Hello Garci, the Fertilizer Scam, the ZTE scandal, and all those charges that has sent him to Veterans Hospital? Did Pnoy’s picture Napoles imply or prove any corruption or theft to the national treasury?

  2. LAST WEEK’S SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMITTEE HEARING (aka Zarzuela De Moro-moro) was staged, N-O-T in aid of Legislation – Pretty obvious to me “was staged in aid of Legislator(s) currently beholden to the Powers of the Highest Echelon by the Palace along the stinking dead river Estero de Pasig.

  3. Guingona’s mistake was when he ask direct questions to Napoles about forming a fake foundation.
    He should have ask Napoles to explain first her history o bio data,and there he can get ideas, hints or clues.

    • TG’s voice can be heard shaking this time, not the usual poetic tone Ive heard in some recent BlueRibbon Shite hearing.

  4. As the saying goes ” Lutong Macao”. Yes. But they are not afraid of anybody. There is esentially an unwritten rule among thieves ” don’t go too far”. Basically all of them have “slept” with same Mata Hari. Nobody’s ashamed. Actually everyone had a good time. The only thing they did not want anyone else especially the “Masa” the Filipino people to know is that in Philippine politics as in every other country, the politicians and their KKK take turns Raping the country. “Now its your turn” later its ours and nobody knows the wiser. Nobody goes to jail. Just think about it The Grandfather of BS Aquino was the Speaker of the House during the Japanes Occupation. In other words ‘Makapili” – a stooge of the Japanese. Then the fathere BS Aquino II becomes the trusted aide of President Magsaysay who gave away Hacienda Lusita to the family Conjuangco – who later died in a plane crash ( CIA sponsored – RM served his purpose so the CIA got rid of him). And good graces, the mother Corazon gets elevated to the Presidency with the backing of the US State Department. And now the son is “elected” via PCOS machine. If anyone has read the news continuosly – how in the world did BS Aquino win the Presidency when Erap was the Masa’s favourite hands down. Nine out of ten of the poor who number 90% of the population wanted Erap but no the CIA doesnt want somebody outside the circle of Elite that take turns raping the country. They want a family that has been under their hold since the they took over the Philippines from Spain.

  5. The ten questions are rather simple and obvious. Why didn’t the brilliant senators, such as Cayetano and Escudero, ask them? The answer is again obvious.

    So, the direction of the Blue Ribbon investigation is revealed not by the questions the senators ask but by the ones they don’t ask.

  6. Mikko Yap Guzman on

    Last thursday hearing is a waste of time and money because they firce to have janet napoles an attorney…but what did they got…NOTHING…another story of our history in corruption…what a waste…

  7. “Ten questions they didn’t, couldn’t ask at the Napoles hearing”

    Malacanang’s reply. “Ano kayo, hilo????” We invoke our right to self-inflicted wound – that would further incriminate my/our KKKs – and the glaring association as the pictures suggests would not only expose the real truth, – it would establish beyond reasonable doubt the extensive association of the current admin’s Big Boys in addition to the previous administration’s lackeys business dealings with this CORRUPTORS of All CROOKS/Crocodiles/Vultures and Leeches of the Highest Class – Janet Napoles, and her business partners in the Senate-house of the Representatives….

  8. I agree and sa observation ni ginoog caisido, moro-moro talaga yang blue ribbon committee investigation. Mr. Tiglao nababasa at naririnig ng buong pilipino ang mga tanong na dapat kay janet napolish!

  9. Hi Inocent,

    Like you I read Mr. Tiglao’s column regularly and I get to read your comments, too. I find them very sensible. More intelligent readers like you should share their thoughts.

    Mt. Tiglao, just one question. Can’t COA compel DBM to release all BS Aquino’s PDAF records when he was a congressman and a senator? PNOY and his ilk must have illegal dealings with Napoles which explains why Drilon and the other senators are very protective of her… why she had to ride in the presidential car and with the president as escort in going to Camp Crame.

  10. I watched the proceedings and I was impressed with Miriam’s astuteness and direct-talk compared with the rest of the senators….

    these are what we have in the Senate now…?

    It may have been a lowblow, alright, but I still liked that Miriam pointed to Enrile as one of the masterminds and enablers of the scam….

    it certainly sounds credible, anyway..if only for that, go Miriam!

  11. Yes, the questions that should have been posed to Napoles, but unfortunately were not propounded, may still be made on the next hearing of the senate. I am looking forward to it!

  12. The main purpose of the hearing is not in aid of legislation but in aid of re-election come 2016. The Senate has not published any piece of legislation that came out relative to issues tackled in senate hearings done years ago.

  13. From that fateful day Aguinaldo and Bonifacio clashed on what political direction this country has to tread, leading to the eventual waylaying/salvaging/assassination of the latter, the onset of traditional dirty politics has been the prevailing climate throughout the land.. MLQ summed up in a capsulized package what it is NOW the standardized and bastardized Pilipinz style politics – “it is better this land of Thieves(NOW, and the prevailing systematic plunder) should be governed like Hell and taken advantage of by their own Leaders rather than run like a smooth, well oiled machine by Americans(THEN, in the 1940’s, when this CANCEROUS Political system was not detected in its early stages but eventually took on its current deadly form )

  14. Ay Ganon Ba? Given na po iyan na sasadyain’g gawing moro-moro de zarzuela
    ang Senate hearing daw ni Kawatan’g Janet Napoles – kasi INVOLVED mismo mga
    Honorables na Senators. Sisihin ninyo ang Naghahari na TRADITIONAL POLITICS OF PATRONAGE, POLITICAL DYNASTIES, CALLOUS POLITICAL AGENDAS, AT PAGBEBENTA NANG INYONG BOTO SA HALAGANG 500 PESOS PARA MAY PANG TOMA LANG KAYO – PRESTO!!!…… VOILA!!!…..May Senador na kayo’ng mga artistahin Jinggoy, Bong, Lito, Tito…anak nang malaking pulitiko na maliit pa sa unano – ang anak hindi man lang nag Barangay Chairman at biglang naging Senador(Ahhhhhhh, pesteng sistema na talaga itohhhhhhh!!!! ) Hindi ko na mawari kung sadyang mangmang ang boatente, o sadyang isinalaksak sa lalamunan ng mangmang na botante ang boto sa pamamagitan ng mala hokus pokus na sistema…ONLI IN DA PILIPINZZZZ…..Amen.

  15. KAYA NGA ANG PALABAS NA NANGYARI JAN SA SENADO AY ISANG KLASIKO NA PALABAS – “ZARZUELA DE MORO-MORO”

    Parang VaudeDeVille daw jan sa Manila Grand Opera nang mga panahon nang mga 1940’s ayon sa aming Lolo Tasyo na sadyang may pagka moro-moro ang pagka pilosopo.

  16. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    I asked one of your 10 questions senators should have asked Janet, Mr. Tiglao, 1) ” Bakit kay Pnoy ka lamang may TIWALA at SUMUKO?. Wala ka bang tiwala kay Mar Roxas, Drillon, Enrile, Jingoy o Bong Revilla? ” 2) Sino ang senate president nuon inumpisahan mo ( Janet ) ang Jo-Cris Trading ? 3) Kelan at sino-sino ang senate presidents nuon na umpisahan nyo ang mga “Fake NGO ” AT GINAMIT ANG PDAF NG MGA LAWMAKERS. Pwede din ito itanong kila Ben Hur Luy at Marina Sunas. 4) Kelan Janet mo unang nakilala si Pnoy, Drillon, Enrile, jingoy Estrada at Bong Revilla? NAGBIGAY KA BA NG POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS SA LP’s at UNA nuon 2010 ELECTION ( ginagawa karaniwan ito ng mga malalaking negosyante, magbigay sa dalawang malalaking partido lalo na sa election ng pagka president), JANET???

  17. You make some very good points there & i for one wouldnt disagree with any of them. It goes back to what i have said many times & will continue to say, i dont care who it is in any form of political power in this country there isnt a single one of them who is totaly lean of corruption. I will never understand why when 1st arrested she wasnt questioned as in the uk when you are arrested for whatever reason you will be questioned on video. Now if she had been questioned we would have seen her demeanor in the cells, how she reacted to certain questions, but your system here in this country is backward. I think in so many things this country needs to send important people from different positions in the government to countriues like england to see how they do things & adopt better ways of doing things, but it seems they dont want to move forward at all in anything. I could site so many things but i dont know where to start but something needs doing urgently to even start the ball rolling on improving this country.

    • FYI a lot of the local politicians were even educated in the UK,like the marcoses but it’s not a matter of education, it’s a matter of wanting & needing to do the right thing in a decent and transparent way.

  18. Don’t worry RT your 10 questions are already in the mind of all anti-pnoy. However, since no “opposition” senator attended the hearing nobody dared to ask those irresistible questions. Anyway the husband will be next daw kaya begin to cheer for the inclusion of that 10 questions.

  19. The answers are expected by the senate investigators; is it “in aid of legislation” or for something else? I am sure with the news reports and admissions so far, the senate has a clear idea of the “modus operandi” of Napoles and her group. From these the senate knows how to ‘curb’ or ‘plug in’ the loopholes to prevent future abuse of the subject funds. It seems that the whole thing is more for ‘political mileage’. What a waste of resources and the people’s money?

  20. It was being said before but still the same question is being asked. Is the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing staged? True, many viewers as well as those who attended were surprised that the questions asked her seems telegraphed, meaning, already prepared. Frank Drillon being there and not asking even one question is very strange because this man does not fail to try overlapping the other Senators just to be heard. What is noticed that he displayed a “tiger look” whenever any legislator will ask questions. Nice eye opener, Mr. Tiglao.