Civil society group joins call for De Lima to release Napoles list
MANILA, Philippines—Civil society groups under the #ScrapPork network joined the call for Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to release the list given to her by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles containing names of other government officials who benefitted from the scam.
In a letter submitted to De Lima on Tuesday, the groups invoked the “people’s right to information” in demanding for the disclosure of Napoles’ affidavit, in full, and her list.
“Even as we are aware of the possible inconclusive nature of her statements, these remain relevant and material information to enable citizens to independently inquire into and verify what funds and projects were involved, and who among our public officials may have been involved,” the letter stated.
“Specifically, we request that we be furnished a copy of any document or paper submitted to you by Mrs. Napoles containing her statements and recollections regarding the alleged anomalous transactions. We make this demand pursuant to our right to information as guaranteed under Art III, Sec 7 of the Constitution,” the letter added.
Further delay in disclosing the list to the public would cast doubt on De Lima’s motive, the groups said.
“The people are clamoring for transparency and accountability. The people are hungry for justice… Madam Secretary, as a public servant of the Filipino people, we enjoin you to make available any and all information which Mrs Napoles relayed to you in relation to the PDAF scam,” the letter read.
#ScrapPork Network said De Lima should uphold the very essence of the office she heads.
The groups include Angkop (Aksyong Kabayanihan para sa Organisadong Pagbabago), Bagac Bagong Mukha, AkapBayan (Alyansa ng Kabataan Pilipino para sa Bayan), Juana Change Movement, Sunken Garden United, Project Nameless, Peace Church, Whistleblower’s Association, Institute for Freedom of Information and individuals like Carlos Celdran, Rafael Alunan III, Fr. Robert Reyes, Butch Garcia, among others.
On Monday, the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines also submitted a similar letter to De Lima asking that a full public disclosure be made of Napoles’ sworn statement and list.
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