Tañada to Napoles: It’s not too late to reveal everything
MANILA, Philippines — Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada has called on pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to reveal who were directly involved in her scheme after she asserted that she is not the ‘main plunderer.’
“If Janet Lim Napoles argues she should be absolved from the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) case, then she should reveal the main culprit who pocketed the millions in people’s money,” Tañada, who is running for senator in the 2019 midterm polls, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Tañada’s comment came after the Sandiganbayan First Division affirmed its plunder conviction of Napoles in a resolution dated March 13. Napoles claimed in her motion for reconsideration that she should not be considered as the most guilty because she is not a public officer.
Napoles was accused with former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla and his aide, lawyer Richard Cambe, of pocketing funds from PDAF when they allocated around P224 million to bogus non-government organizations owned by Napoles.
Of the three, only Revilla — who is also vying for a Senate seat — was acquitted.
According to Tañada, the PDAF cases have been on trial for so long, but not one has been resolved. He also denounced the non-payment of P124.5 million back to the National Treasury, even as the Sandiganbayan ordered the “accused” to return the money.
“Di maramdaman ng mga Pilipino ang mga serbisyong dapat na tinatamasa nila at ng komunidad nila dahil napunta ang pera sa bulsa ng iba. Naging mas maginhawa sana ang buhay ng mga Pilipino,” he added.
(Filipinos and their communities did not enjoy the services that should have made their life better because they pocketed the money. The lives of Filipinos should have been more comfortable.)
The case of Napoles, Revilla, and Cambe is the first pork barrel-related case to be solved by the anti-graft court. Other cases involving lawmakers and senators, including former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, are being heard in the Fifth and Third Divisions.
Estrada and Enrile are eyeing to return to the Senate. /ee
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