What’s wrong with Janet Napoles’s list

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

“WE like all the things that we assume have no limits and therefore no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
-- Umberto Eco

ITALIAN writer Umberto Eco, who wrote “The Name of the Rose,” refers to a list of things to do, not a list of suspected scoundrels who looted the public treasury in the pork barrel scam.

In the 2008 movie “The Bucket List,” a billionaire and a mechanic listed what they wanted to do before dying, which put off thoughts about death until the last item in their list was done.


Not all lists are fraught with theater. Surely not a laundry or shopping list, which is pretty dull and uninspiring though useful in housekeeping.

Janet Napoles’s list is something else. It’s not from whistleblowers, Commission on Audit, Department of Justice and ombudsman. Yet no list has created more tempest and fear because of the mystery and speculations stirred by the embargo on the document.

How truthful is it, coming from a person who clearly lied when she testified under oath in the Senate? Is there evidence other than the word of the scam’s mastermind?

Will it not be “sanitized” during the DOJ review since key administration men are among those in the list?

Is it not just a “fairy tale,” a psycho-war device to confuse the prosecution?


It’s potential to wreck reputation or derail prosecution, without supporting evidence, has made Janet’s list toxic.

Warnings about “mayhem” and “chaos” tend to exaggerate. But death of many political careers could be reasonably expected from its publication.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 28, 2014.


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