Aquino defends allies anew, accuses Napoles of stalling
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday defended Cabinet members named in Janet Lim-Napoles extended affidavit, insinuating that the multiple copies of the list are meant to delay the investigation.
“Bukas tayo sa posibilidad na ang ginagawa lang niya (Napoles) ay guluhin ang storya. Habang dumadami nang dumadami ang iimbestigan natin, siguro kaka-imbestiga time’s up na tayo,” Aquino said in an interview broadcasted over the radio.
(We are open to the possibility that she just wants to muddle the story. While the number of people that we should investigate increases, our term has probably ended by the time we have completed the investigation.)
Asked if he believed accusations that his appointed officials are involved in the misuse of public funds, Aquino said, “I need to see the evidence.”
The President pointed out that Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, among those dragged into the pork barrel controversy, was the one spearheading reforms to have greater transparency in government.
He also lauded the efforts of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, who also denied involvement in the so-called scam.
“Dati parang kinamumuhian si Mrs. Napoles. Ngayon ‘pag nagsasalita siya parang totoong-totoo ang sinasabi. Paano kaya nangyari iyon?” Aquino said.
(In the past, Mrs. Napoles was abhorred. Now when she speaks it’s as if people think she is telling the truth. How did that happen?)
Aquino’s statement came a day after Napoles’ camp submitted to the Department of Justice a copy of her expanded affidavit and the list of lawmakers and government officials allegedly involved in the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The President gave the interview at Naval Station Carlito Cunanan in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan after the celebration of the Philippine Navy’s 116th anniversary.
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