Revilla dares Guingona: Quit if we can’t have a peek into Napoles list
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. dared Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, to just resign from his post if he could not compel the release of the alleged “pork” list.
“I challenge the chairman of the blue ribbon committee to compel, oblige Secretary (Leila) De Lima to release the list,” Revilla told reporters on Tuesday.
And if Guingona could not compel De Lima, then Revilla said “I think he should resign as chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee.”
But for Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, the Justice Secretary should release the list of people allegedly involved in the “pork barrel” scam with or without any order from the Senate.
“While it is true that the Senate blue ribbon committee or any committee for that matter can compel anybody to release the list allegedly given by Mrs. (Janet Lim) Napoles, what if the chairman of the Senate blue ribbon decides not to reopen the hearing? What will happen? So wala nang listahan na lalabas. That’s unfair to us, the three senators involved, and to the Filipino people,” Estrada said in a separate interview.
The three senators he was referring to was him, Revilla and Senate Minority Leader Juan Pone-Enrile. All of them are facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the scam.
“ What I’m saying is bakit niya ibabato sa Senate, sa blue ribbon committee? Puwede naman niyang i-release on her own kung talagang mayroon siyang listahan,” said Estrada.
Estrada suspected that De Lima would sanitize the list to spare administration allies who may be on that list.
“Siguro baka tinatanggal niya ang mga kaalyado niya. That is the only reason that I can think of,” he said.
“She keeps on saying that she has the list, why doesn’t she expose it to the public? Now she is conspicuously silent. She’s not even uttering a word [about] the list that she holds allegedly. Why keep it from the public?” he further asked.
Estrada noted how a “talkative” De Lima suddenly became “very silent” about the list.
Asked about De Lima’s statement that she would appeal to the Senate in case she is compelled to release the list, Estrada said: “Drama. That’s all zarzuela. She can release it on her own. Why wait for the Senate to compel her? Bakit niya ibabato sa amin iyon?
Unlike Estrada, Senator Serge Osmeña, vice chairman of the committee, was open to listen to the Justice Secretary’s appeal once the body decides to resume its investigation into the scam.
“Kung kakausapin nya ang mga senador, then we will invite her to a caucus to hear her side, sapagkat siguro may punto rin sya. Ngunit ang kinatatakutan ko eh sasabihin ng taumbayan na mukhang cover-up ito,” Osmeña said.
Osmeña agreed that it would be unfair for the three senators implicated in the scam if the other names on the “pork” list would not be made public.
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