Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Napoles a polluted source on pork scam, says De Lima

Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday called Janet Lim-Napoles a “polluted source” whom the government planned to use for its own “malevolent agenda.”

The Department of Justice has granted the request of Napoles, alleged brains of the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam, to be provisionally admitted into the Witness Protection Program (WPP) in her bid to turn state witness.

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“We can’t consider evidence what Napoles would say because she is a polluted source and she has no credibility,” De Lima said in a statement from Camp Crame, where she is detained on drug trading charges.

The administration of former President Benigno Aquino III had put Napoles in jail over the scam and “she should rot in there for the rest of her life,” said De Lima, who was justice secretary when the government filed charges against the businesswoman.

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Based on evidence

The senator claimed that Malacañang had Napoles acquitted by the Court of Appeals for the crime of serious illegal detention filed by her former chief aide, Benhur Luy, who blew the whistle on the scam.

Now, she added, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre wanted the Sandiganbayan to throw away the evidence against Napoles in connection with the scam, and turn her over to the Department of Justice.

“They’re helping her attain freedom so they can use her for their own malevolent agenda,” she said in a statement.

De Lima also defended the filing of charges against several personalities in connection with the scam, saying these were based on evidence.

“We charged even allies [of Aquino], like [Muntinlupa Rep.] Ruffy Biazon and Sen. Joel Villanueva. And they still call it selective justice, just because those who they wanted to be destroyed were not included,” she said.

No charges were filed against other people in Napoles’ list “because there was no evidence against them,” she added.

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There was no evidence from the Commission on Audit on how the lawmakers spent their Priority Development Assistance Fund, or from the documents and testimonies of the whistleblowers, De Lima said.

No need for lawyer

Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said that with Aguirre and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by her side, Napoles did not need a private lawyer at all.

“It seems that Napoles does not need a private lawyer as Duterte’s justice and executive secretar[ies] acted as the legal counsels of the pork barrel queen,” Casilao said.

Napoles’ lawyer, Stephen David, on Monday testified at the Sandiganbayan that he discussed the move to transfer her client to a WPP safe house with Medialdea and Aguirre in Malacañang.

He said Medialdea and Aguirre had instructed him to file a motion asking Sandiganbayan’s permission for Napoles’ transfer to a safe house.

Medialdea denied giving such advice to David. Aguirre confirmed the discussion between him, Medialdea and David on Napoles’ situation, but said the executive secretary gave his “opinion,” not legal advice, to David. —With a report from Allan Nawal

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TAGS: DoJ, Janet Lim Napoles, Leila de Lima, pork barrel scam
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