De Lima still mum on Napoles list

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Friday, April 25, 2014

CALLS for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to reveal other senators allegedly involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam fell on deaf ears.

In a chance interview on Thursday, de Lima said she will only release the list of lawmakers and other government officials businesswoman Janet Napoles has implicated in the scam after thoroughly evaluating her testimony that has yet to be completed.

She echoed the statement of Senate President Franklin Drilon, who said in a press conference also on Thursday, that the names should only be made public if there is substantial documentary evidence that will support the corruption charges.

"When I do share with the public the list of Mrs. Napoles, I'll be able to say which ones are true, credible and untrue," de Lima said.

She added the joint team of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will still conduct more clarificatory sessions with Napoles, who is currently recuperating at the Ospital ng Makati after doctors removed parts of her reproductive system due to a mass found in her uterus, which would have led to cancer if it was left untreated.

Senators Grace Poe, JV Ejercito, Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano have called on de Lima and former senator Panfilo Lacson, who first got a copy of Napoles' draft affidavit, to publicize the document to allow those implicated to explain their side.

So far, de Lima only confirmed that Napoles corroborated on Monday night the whistleblowers' testimonies on the alleged involvement of Senators Ramon Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile in the illegal diversion of pork barrel to ghost projects of the businesswoman's dubious non-government organizations (NGOs) in recent years.

Napoles, the scam's alleged mastermind, and the three senators are currently facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing PDAF. (Sunnex)

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