Napoles fails to submit affidavit on PDAF scam

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- Janet Napoles will likely submit her testimony on the pork barrel scam she allegedly masterminded to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and the Senate on Monday next week instead of Thursday.

Napoles's affidavit is only 70 percent complete and the long hours dedicated each day for the preparation of the document has taken its toll on her health, said the businesswoman's lawyer Bruce Rivera.

The businesswoman has since complained of vaginal bleeding, prompting her camp to ask the Makati court hearing her serious illegal detention case to recall its order transferring her to the Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna from Ospital ng Makati, where she has been confined since March 31.

The businesswoman was supposed to submit the details of the scam, through De Lima before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee last May 15 but the Justice chief sought for a one-week extension.

De Lima asked the Senate body to give Napoles until May 28 to complete her affidavit because the alleged scam mastermind failed to beat the deadline again. The request was immediately granted by panel chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III on Thursday.

So far, the committee has a copy of the list of politicians and government officials allegedly involved in the scam of siphoning off billions of pesos in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) through ghost projects of Napoles's fake non-government organizations (NGOs).

They include senators, congressmen and even some of the Aquino administration's top officials: Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, former Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary General Joel Villanueva.

All of them denied dealing with Napoles, who is now facing plunder charges, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., before the Ombudsman.

Meanwhile, De Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now preparing a copy of the digital files of main whistleblower Benhur Luy asked by the Senate.

"We need to comply (with the subpoena), so I am asking the NBI to already make a separate copy sa hard disk kasi ang hinihingi ng committee is softcopy naman hindi naman printed copy kasi napaka-voluminous talaga," she said.

The supposed Luy list named politicians, government officials and media who allegedly benefitted from the scam, earning the ire of those implicated.

Luy's lawyer, Raji Mendoza, also questioned the authenticity of the hard drive that was reportedly forwarded to a major broadsheet last year. (With Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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