Escudero: Napoles’ list meant to confuse, move spotlight from self
MANILA, Philippines — By releasing her list of supposed pork barrel scam conspirators to three different people, Janet Lim Napoles has succeeded in sowing confusion and deflecting attention away from herself, Senator Francis Escudero said on Wednesday.
Escudero said Napoles was the only source of the lists that came into the possession of Panfilo Lacson, the presidential assistant on calamity rehabilitation; Justice Secretary Leila de Lima; and illegal numbers game witness Sandra Cam.
“Napoles’ tactic on riding on the credibility of these three people had been a good one,” Escudero told reporters at the House of Representatives, where he chaired a joint hearing on rehabilitation efforts for Yolanda-stricken provinces.
“Definitely, she had muddled the situation, and now other people are finger-pointing and being defensive, instead of Napoles being the one defending herself,” he added.
At the same time, he cast doubt on the unsigned list and statement that Lacson submitted to the Senate, which supposedly detailed the beginnings of Napoles’ alleged pork barrel scam and lawmakers’ participation.
The statement was in the form of an affidavit, but was unsigned.
“In evidence, from the point of view of law, it’s a scrap of paper,” he said.
If he had been involved in a case, Escudero said he would have submitted his affidavit to his lawyer or to the Ombudsman. But what Napoles did was to give her list to three people, albeit with a request to keep it under wraps.
What’s forbidden is much desired, according to Escudero wh added that this was why the matter still came out.
“So what happened here is that instead of the list coming from her and her talking about it, it appears that it comes from the other people who received her list,” he said.
He also said Napoles’ husband Jimmy Napoles, who reportedly provided Lacson with the list, should be investigated as well. Jimmy has not been named a respondent in any case or investigation on the pork barrel scam, but it has turned out that he knew something, Escudero said.
As for his inclusion in the list of supposed conspirators that Lacson submitted to the Senate, Escudero noted that he’s the only there who was not included in the records of Benhur Luy, Napoles’ former finance officer who blew the whistle on their allegedly illegal transactions.
He said it was not surprising for those being investigated to come up with retaliatory accusations.