Anti-corruption commissioner ‘happy’ that Napoles is under WPP
The inclusion of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles as a provisional witness under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) was long overdue, an anti-corruption executive said on Tuesday.
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner Greco Belgica said he was happy of the recent development, noting that it “could not be true” that Napoles was the mastermind in the P10-billion pork barrel scam because the buck stops with the politicians.
“Happy ako dahil never naman po akong naniwala na mastermind ang isang businessman, it cannot be true that a businessman can be the mastermind because kung kahit na sinong contractor, kahit Janet Napoles pa yan, hindi siya ang last say sa mga kontrata,” Belgica said in a press conference in Manila.
(I am happy because I never believed that a businessman can be a mastermind of a scam because whoever the contractor is, even if it’s Janet Napoles, she does not have the last say in the contract.)
“The pork barrel [scam] is really a corruption of politicians. And businessmen are there just to make money. Kung ano gusto mo, ‘yun ang ibibigay ko [Whatever you want, I will give it to you], I just want my share,” he added.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) in February placed Napoles under the WPP as a provisional witness in a bid to turn her into a state witness.
The move has drawn criticisms from the public, especially as it was announced days after the controversial dismissal of the drug complaints against alleged drug lords Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa.
The Sandiganbayan, however, in its decision to approve former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s bail, said it was Napoles who appeared to have the “extensive control” in the scam.
Estrada, together with former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla, was accused of plunder and anti-graft and corruption for his involvement in the scam.
Belgica said that Napoles knows a lot about the scam and it would be helpful for the government if she tells all what she knows about the scheme.
“Marami pong alam ‘yan kaya happy ako na kung magte-tell all talaga siya and maraming tulong ang magagawa nito. At marami ang masasangkot dito, kahit na sino, kalaban, kakampi, sama-sama na talaga lahat,” he said.
(She knows a lot so I am happy if she will tell all and she can help a lot. Many will get involved here, whoever they are, opposition, allies, all of them.) /je