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Janet Napoles takes the floor at Inquirer


Janet Lim-Napoles answers questions on the alleged pork barrel scam from  editors, columnists and reporters of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. PART 1. Parts: 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

(First of a series)

(Editor’s Note: The following is a verbatim transcript of a roundtable discussion between Inquirer editors, columnists and reporters, and Janet Lim-Napoles last Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Inquirer main office in Makati City.)

RAUL Pangalangan, Inquirer publisher:  We welcome Janet Napoles, who has been in our front pages. It was actually Janet who asked for the opportunity to meet initially with our editor in chief. And she explained to some of us earlier, that she thought she would only be meeting with our editor in chief.

But Letty also, LJM also made it clear, that our procedure is for our guest to sit down in a roundtable—we call this a roundtable, Janet—with the news reporters and with the columnists.

So welcome, Janet. And well, first of all, I would like to congratulate Janet for her courage to enter the lion’s den here at the Inquirer. I suppose, Janet, coming here, you are open to questions and comments.

Janet Napoles: Hindi ho alam ng lawyer namin ’to. No, kasi medyo…

Winnie Monsod, columnist: Na-shock nga ako eh.

Napoles: Yes, ma’am, I’m sorry po. Kasi ’di ba parang everyday na, tapos wala naman. Tapos sabi ko sa husband ni [pointing to reporter Cathy Yamsuan], first time kong nakita siya si Ma’am Cathy. Sabi ko, Brian, may access ba para sa Inquirer. Para lang umapela ako bilang ina na sana bago isulat, kunin muna side namin. Yun lang ho talaga. Kaya akala ko, mga 10:30, pag wala na hong. Kasi hindi ko alam may mga ganito. First time ko pumunta ng Inquirer. That’s why, Ma’am, na-shock ako sa inyo. “Don’t you know that there’s a roundtable?” Sabi ko, “Ha?”

Kasi ho, unang-una, kanina after the Mass, nag-interview na ho sa amin, 2, 7 and 5. Sabi ni Atty. Lorna, hindi na ho pupwedeng magsalita.

[Looks at photographer Edwin Bacasmas] Kuya, [laughs] wag mo nang… madami na… bawal… So, I did not know talaga. Kasi kung hindi, I should bring my lawyer para ho naman. Hindi ko po alam. Sorry, Ma’am.

Pangalangan: So, to be clear, you’re here now. And are you open to talk to our editors at reporters? Well, some of the reporters who cover your story are actually right here. So if there’s anything you’d like to. There’s the appeal that you said you want to…

Napoles: Yeah, to Mr. Gil Cabacungan.

[Senior reporter Cabacungan raises hand and stands up.]

Napoles: Sorry ha. Wala naman. Yun lang naman. Kaya ako pumunta kay Ma’am para i-appeal ang kay Mr. Gil Cabacungan. OK naman ho, di ba? Pero sana kung pwede lang. Medyo. [Laughs] ’Di ba susulat ka, tanungin yung side namin. Para naman. Kasi, I went to AMWSLAI (Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc.) kanina, humihingi ako ng pera, sana maka-withdraw kasi may ganung kalaking pera. So natawa sa amin yung… It’s like a funny ano, ’di ba? So…

Monsod: Are you saying you have the money in AMWSLAI?

Napoles: We have P5 million po.

Monsod: P5 million? Not 500?

Napoles: No. My goodness! [laughs] 500. ’Di ba ho? Kaya, medyo. So, pero sabi nga ng lawyer, wag nang ano. Pag nasa legal ano na lang po di ba. Sa ano lang kasi, yung anak kong isa, depressed na. [Unintelligible] Ilan na yung anak kong. Meron nanamang isa. Siyempre everyday ’di ba, below the belt. Hanggang sa pinaglalaruan na ho kami sa Internet, sa buong… Pati yung anak kong isa, ayaw nang umuwi dito ng Pilipinas. Sana kung. Tutal, may investigation naman hong nangyayari. Yun lang ho ang pakiusap ko.

Pangalangan: So, that’s your…?

Napoles: Yeah, that’s why naglakas loob akong pumunta dito. I thought after….

Monsod: Ang ibig mong sabihin, ay walang tumatawag sa iyong reporter?

Napoles: Wala po.

Monsod: Ang Inquirer?

Napoles: Wala po. First time lang pong tumawag siya, si Ma’am nung sumulat na ho kami.

Nancy Carvajal, reporter: I texted. I’m Nancy Carvajal, we’ve met.

Napoles: Yeah, we’ve met tapos ito po yung kwintas ko Ma’am Nancy, ha. [shows necklace] Medyo ano …

Carvajal: Yeah.

Chelo Banal-Formoso, Learning section editor: Ako din tinawagan ko ang lawyer mo.

Carvajal: Tinext ko din ho kayo, I called you up. You never picked up.

Formoso: Your lawyer daw was in Cinemalaya all day. Sabi niya, kaya hindi niya ako masagot.

Pangalangan: We actually tried calling you the whole day.

Napoles: Kasi [unintelligble] naka-series naman.

Monsod: [Unintelligible] In your cell phone na merong tumatawag sa inyo.

Napoles: Opo. Wala naman po. Pwede naman po nating ipa-check sa Globe ’yan. May Globe. Naka-line po. Wala naman po kaming prepaid. Naka-line po yung ano namin.  Kaya nga nung hinabol ko po si Ma’am Nancy, ’di ba. Ma’am, kunin niyo naman po yung side namin, ’di ba. Kasama ko ho si Mr. Louie Cruz that time nakiusap po ako. Ma’am, please. And binigyan niya po ako 30 minutes doon sa isang hotel.

[Looks at Bacasmas] Kuya, please naman, ang dami ko nang picture, bigyan na lang kita. Kasi, masyadong haggard ang mukha ko, tapos lalabas sa dyaryo. Maawa naman kayo.

Nolasco:  So, pwede ba naming makuha ang cell phone mo. Kasi ’yan ang instruction lagi sa mga reporters.

Napoles: Opo. xxxx-xxxxxxx

Joey Nolasco, managing editor: Oh, dahan-dahan.

Napoles:  xxxx-xxxxxxx

Carvajal: xxxx-xxxxxxx

Napoles: Ma’am Winnie, kaya ko po nakausap si Ma’am Nancy nung sinasabi niyang meron nang denial from the Napoles family. Naggawa po ako ng paraan kay Louie. Louie, let’s go to Inquirer. I need to talk to Nancy. So pinagbigyan naman niya po ako ng 30 minutes so medyo [unintelligible]. ’Di ba yun lang ang nangyari, ’di ba Ma’am? So [unintelligible] bakit, bakit Inquirer? Pero nitong huli na, medyo anak ko na ang naapektuhan. Parang isa-isa na yung mga anak ko na nagkakaroon ng… Binibigyan na ng tranquilizer ng doktor. Sabi ko, I think I need to ask the Inquirer editor. That’s why humingi ako ng tulong kay Brian, through my friend. Sabi, sige, subukan natin. Tapos na-schedule na. So akala ko po yung editor, tapos mga ilang reporter na nagsulat. Sorry, sir, ha, hindi ko kasi alam na ganito.

Pangalangan: It’s all right. Janet, all our reports are based on official records, they are all based on affidavits, sworn statements, COA (Commission on Audit) reports. So ako, it’s not as if these are one-sided.

Napoles: Para lang po kasi… Opo, kasi [unintelligible] sa iba pinapakita sa amin—oh, ito ’yung allegations sa inyo, anong sagot sa inyo. Na, which is, hindi po naman nangyari.

Cabacungan: Ma’am Janet, before we came out with ’yung story asking for an explanation of your wealth, ’yun po ’yung Monday, I texted Ma’am Kapunan (Atty. Loran Kapunan). She said: “I don’t trust you.”

Napoles: Kasi, sir, kasi po marami na po kayong nasulat.

Cabacungan: Anong istorya po before that?

Napoles: Sa kanya po eh. Kaya napilitan po kaming…

Cabacungan: I can’t remember everything. Kasi the first stories I wrote about you, ’yung kay Ungab (Isidro Ungrab, Davao City representative).

Napoles: [To Inquirer.net staff with handheld video camera] Kuya, pasensya na kayo.

Cabacungan: Kay Ungab, kay Alcala (Proceso Alcala, agriculture secretary). That was the series. That was my first week kasi Ma’am eh, so I can remember that. Tapos nung Monday…

Napoles: Sayang, kung andito sana siya.

Cabacungan: So I wrote that Sunday: “I don’t trust you.” But I place ’yung interview nung kay Korina, maybe there’s good faith. Dun po sa AMWSLAI po, I called up AMWSLAI. Tapos kaya the next day, dun na sila po nag-respond. They invoked bank secrecy. So while there is nothing in our case na wala po sa interest namin na hindi kayo, kunin yung side niyo.

Nolasco: At saka bawal sa amin yun. Alam nila yun.

Cabacungan: At saka Ma’am, 20 years na ako dito. Hindi lalabas po yung storya na hindi nila aaprubahan.

Napoles: Kaya hindi naman siguro mag-gaganun si Atty. Kapunan, na “I don’t trust you” kung… Lalo na yun, mahilig magpa-interview.

Cabacungan: Ay hindi ko po alam, Ma’am.

Napoles: ’Di bale, lahat naman pinagbibigyan niya. Medyo nasaktan lang din siya dun sa mga… Pero siguro mas maganda po siguro siya na lang ano. Wag na lang. Anyway, pinagdadasal na lang po namin na sana lumabas yung katotohanan. [Unintelligble]

Formoso: Eh pag tini-text siya hindi siya sumasagot eh.

Napoles: ’Yung number ko na lang ho para….

Cabacungan: Saka belligerent na siya Ma’am, eh. Mas galit pa siya sa inyo eh.

Napoles: Ay! Pabayaan niyo na ho.

Cabacungan: [Unintelligible] buti sumasagot kayo eh.

Napoles: Ba’t naman hindi?

Carvajal: But, this is your number po, Ma’am? Siguro naman po, clear na ho na you’re going to pick up our calls and entertain our questions?

Napoles: Oo. Bakit naman hindi? Lahat naman ho kahit. Kanina naman sa 7, sinabi nila, kung pwedeng yung investigative journalism, sumagot po ako. Forty five minutes po akong in-interview. Wala namang problema. Basta ang gusto ko lang, may papel sila—ito yung allegations sa iyo, ano ang sagot mo dito. Kasi mahirap naman yung allegedly, allegedly ’di ba.

Carvajal: Eh yung basis ko naman ho, affidavit [unintelligible] submitted sa DOJ (Department of Justice). So hindi niyo pwedeng sabihing…

Napoles: Anyway, bahala na dun si attorney. Kasi ayaw ko po magkaroon ng gap between me and the Inquirer. Kasi siyempre ’di ba minsan, gumigitna ang lawyer. Kaya pumupunta ho ako dito. Ako ho ito, i-judge niyo ako. Sana pagkatapos na lang ho ng investigation. Although, [unintelligible] NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) ho yung kalaban namin atsaka yung ano pero since sila yung nag-iimbestiga. Help me pray na lang na yung katotohanan po lumabas who is behind this.

Carvajal: We share that.

Monsod: Pwede mo ba masabi sa amin kung ano ang katotohanan, according to you?

Napoles: Ah, Tita. Kasi, Tita, kung mauna po ako, anyway nagkakasama tayo sa Santuario, baka una ko sa iyo ibibigay, Tita Winnie. Ito na po yung ano. Kasi, under investigation pa po. So kung mauna naman ako.

[To Inquirer.net staff with handheld video camera] Kuya, please naman.

Kung mauna lang ako magsabi naunahan ko yung nag-iimbestiga, pangit naman yun.

Nolasco: Mabuti yun. Naunahan mo na sila.

Napoles: Ay! [Laughs] Baka patayin ako.

Nolasco: Hindi. Hindi ka papatayin ng NBI.

Napoles: ’Yung investigation naman po namin na ginagawang research. [To Inquirer.net staff manning video camera on tripod] Kuya, please. Based ho dun sa cell phone na naiwanan ni Benhur, laptop, atsaka yung mga cell phone po niya—dalawa yung cell phone niya—isang (sex?) phone, isang business phone—dun po namin tinitignan. So dun po kami gumawa ng research kung bakit ganun, bakit niya nagamit yung opisina namin.

Nolasco: Eh sinulat namin yan. Sinulat namin lahat yan.

Cabacungan: Ma’am, pwede niyo nang sabihin yun?

Napoles: Ano po?

Cabacungan: Kung ano yung na-diskubre niyo na sa phone?

Napoles: Sabi po ng abugado, ano na lang daw… sa proper… Kasi pag sa media, trial by publicity. Wag na lang daw siraan yung kabila. Bayaan na lang sila, tapos pag nag-investigation na, dun na lang.

Formoso: Eh sa radyo, sinasabi niyo eh.

Napoles: Kami po?

Formoso: Oo.

Napoles: Hindi ako nagpapa-interview sa radyo. Basta ang sinasabi ko lang…

Formoso: Si Kapunan, sinasabi niya.

Napoles: Atty. Baligod po? Humihingi lang po siya sa akin ng pera. Yun lang po.

Monsod: Sino ang humihingi sa iyo ng pera?

Napoles: ’Yung lawyer po.

[To Inquirer.net staff manning video camera on tripod] Attorney, ay ano po. Pwede wag niyo nang i-video? Saka na lang. Kuya, please naman. Kasi kung alam ko lang ’to, ok lang naman.

[To Monsod] ’Yung abogado po.

Monsod: ’Yung abogado ni?

Napoles: Benhur.

Monsod: Benhur Luy?

Napoles: May tape po kami niyan, kumpleto po. Na-video ko po. Pero meron, nangako na po kami sa isang station at sa isang ano na exclusive [unintelligible]. After, kasi po mahirap na unahan namin ang NBI. So whatever their result, dun naman po namin ilalabas yung…

Carvajal: Ah, so Ma’am, if I may interrupt. Hindi niyo po pwedeng… you said kasi na exclusive to other media outlets

Napoles: Hindi po, kasi yung CD atsaka yung ano, kasi nangako kami. Yun si attorney, yata, na pagtapos nung NBI result, whatever the result. Siyempre, magkakaroon ng kaso. Dun na lang po ilabas. Kasi kung mauna na sa media, wala na ding saysay. Dun na po lahat.

Nolasco: Mrs. Napoles, tutal nandito na kayo…

Napoles: Nakakatakot ka, sir, ah. Bakit anong kasalanan ko sa’yo?

[Laughter]

Nolasco: Heto, pagkakataon mo na ’to. Ano ang maling sinulat ng mga reporters namin tungkol sa inyo? Sabihin niyo na ngayon. Ilalabas natin.

Napoles: Asa anak ko, naka ganun eh [mimics writing/listing]. Naka… [laughs]

(To be continued tomorrow)

SECOND PART OF THE INTERVIEW

“Napoles insists her money came from inheritance, coal trading”

THIRD PART OF THE INTERVIEW

“Napoles: Luy’s lawyer asked me for P38M”

FOURTH PART OF THE INTERVIEW

Napoles won’t say name of her firm in Indonesia

LAST PART OF THE INTERVIEW

Napoles: Benhur Luy has another boss, it is not me


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Tags: Inquirer , Janet Lim Napoles , Janet Napoles , JLN , P10-billion pork barrel scam , pork scam




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