De Lima won’t spare admin allies in PDAF scam

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

By Virgil B. Lopez

JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima assured the public on Tuesday she would not sanitize Janet Napoles’ list of lawmakers and government officials who allegedly benefitted from the corruption of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

In a chance interview, de Lima said any suspicion of a list sparing administration allies can easily be verified with Napoles, the businesswoman who set up fake non-government organizations (NGOs) to siphon off billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money.

The Justice Secretary has remained defiant to calls from senators and some groups for her to release the list unless compelled by the Senate in a hearing. De Lima may face the Commission on Appointments (CA), a powerful body composed of select senators and congressmen, next month for her confirmation process.

De Lima said it is premature to disclose the contents of Napoles' testimony at this point because the businesswoman has yet to complete her story, which will be vetted by the whistleblowers who had expressed fears of turning their former boss state witness.

"I’ve said it before and I'm saying it again, please don't pressure me," de Lima said. "You just have to trust me that I am not going to sanitize the list. That is my promise to the nation."

On Monday, jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam said nearly 100 lawmakers, both past and present, were on the list.

Apart from Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., who were charged with plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman, the list named 10 more incumbent senators and three former members of the Senate.

Cam, president of the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines, said Napoles also implicated 82 congressmen.

De Lima gathered Napoles' statement on April 21 or two days before the alleged scam leader underwent surgery at the Ospital ng Makati to remove a pre-cancerous tumor in her uterus. (Sunnex)

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