One of the witnesses against Janet Lim Napoles was earlier quoted to have said that the businesswoman believes she will be off the hook and scott free in four to five years.
The witness said Napoles has connections in Congress, the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police, the courts, and at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Besides having the right connections, Napoles can bank on the people’s tendency to forget easily. It is possible that after a few month, they will forget that the “pork barrel queen” has billions of pesos stashed somewhere to pay off or bribe the officers of the courts in the months to come when this brouhaha settles.
On top of that, some quarters fear that Malacanang could have cut a deal with Mrs. Napoles upon her surrender last week. Some fear that if she is not allowed to become a state witness, she could get a light sentence if she identifies the lawmakers, especially those in the opposition, involved in pocketing the people’s money.
She could also avail and be protected by Marcos’ Presidential Decree 749 which provides that in bribery crimes, “ a person who offered or gave the bribe or gift to the public official or is an accomplish for such gift or bribe giving can be exempted from prosecution if he or she willingly testifies against that public official.”
So, if we thought we have captured Napoles to make her answer for stealing our money and won this round . . . think again. We might end up the loser after all.
And Napoles could be laughing all the way to the bank in just a few years.
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A questionable project
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson should immediately look into reports about the alleged anomalous Valenzuela-Malabon dike project which is underway.
Residents are questioning the quality of this P40 million project supposed to keep them away from high flood waters and Manila Bay’s high tide.
Cracks had been spotted on the concrete walls as well as signs of strain on the metal bars.
Residents want Singson to check if its contractors, AKN Construction, Rain Construction, RNN Construction, RM Nunez Construction Corp., are legitimate and if they have done similar types of projects.
DPWH insiders admitted the bidding of the project is questionable since there were four winners.
According to them, a P40 million project does not require four contractors.
If this is not a rotten smelling project, I don’t know what it is. Right Secretary Singson?
DA and BOC closing in on Lea Cruz
Even as Agriculture Secretay Proceso Alcala has reportedly ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations that the importation of onions and garlic has been monopolized by a certain individual, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon does not want to take any chances.
Biazon cancelled the accreditation of the companies reportedly connected to importer Lea Cruz on Thursday.
TV 5 found out last week that these companies are fake and do not have offices.
Cruz is said to be the only person given an import permit by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to bring in onions and garlic from another country which triggered an uproar from the importers’ community.
The Customs chief also ordered his men to seize all onion and garlic cargoes of Cruz arriving at the pier from now on.
Lea Cruz’s happy days will soon be over.