Editorial: Copies of Napoles’s list

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Friday, April 25, 2014

THERE is a logical reason in the refusal of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to release the list of people that businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles linked to the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam. The Department of Justice (DOJ), after all, is still validating Napoles’s claims.

The validation has the purpose of: first, finding out if Napoles’s intention is honest and is not a scheme to muddle the prosecution of the case; second, to verify, using other pieces of evidence, the actual participation of each name in the list to ensure that only the guilty will be named publicly.

As de Lima correctly said, to release the list without validation would cause “mayhem.”


Yet, the very same prudence with which de Lima is using to deal with Napoles’s bombshell seems to be playing into the hands of those who would like to cause “mayhem” in public discourse. They simply had to claim to have the Napoles list, release the names of those supposedly involved and in the process taint de Lima’s intention.

Among those who claimed to have seen the Napoles list was former senator Panfilo Lacson, who said he met with Napoles’s husband and her two children last month. That meeting wasn’t denied by Napoles’s lawyer Bruce Rivera, but he said the list Lacson saw was not yet complete.

Sandra Cam, supposed president of the largely unknown Whistleblowers Association, also claimed to have a copy of the list, as did other personalities with dubious intentions. Unlike Lacson, they didn’t say where they got the list copies.

Interestingly, these people are claiming to have the “unsanitized” list, meaning that, whatever de Lima will come out later they can already claim as “sanitized.” That’s the recipe for “mayhem.”

While it is good to be suspicious of what de Lima and the DOJ are doing with the Napoles list, it is also wrong to fall for the scheme concocted by those who want to sow anarchy for the benefit of either the scam participants or the political spin doctors.

In this sense, people need to be able to differentiate honest intention from the bad one, objective discussion from propaganda. They must realize that those involved in the scam have the resources and power to sow disinformation and blunt efforts to prosecute them.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 26, 2014.


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