Senator not convinced on credibility of Napoles' list-A A +A
Thursday, May 1, 2014
MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV admitted he is not convinced on the recent list of alleged pork scam barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles dragging new names of lawmakers facing corruption allegations.
In a press conference, Trillanes said he consulted a reliable source who admitted that the list submitted by Napoles recently is highly questionable.
Trillanes who has been actively participating in the investigation by the Blue Ribbon committee on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf) scam said he is interested to ask Napoles face to face in order to see her demeanor and what she is going to say.
"Importante na siya (Napoles) mismo ang madala dito. 'Pag nadala natin si Mrs. Napoles dito makikita natin, based on her demeanor, kung kapaniwala-wala nga ba siya o hindi. So, kulang kung mapapalabas lang siya ng affidavit. It would be unfair to those who will be implicated," he said.
Trillanes said that his reliable sources revealed to him that the supposed Napoles list is not correct and allegedly there are innocent people being dragged in the anomaly.
He urged Napoles to truthfully answer the issue.
"First we must be assured that what she (Napoles) will be testifying to will be the truth. But if she is not going to talk, what for, especially if she invokes her right to self-incrimination. We might as well get that assurance first, then, if she talks, then we will know whether she is telling the truth or lying," he said.
"You know why paranoia sets in? That's because what we have today is a lynch mentality in this country. When a name is mentioned, people immediately want those people named lynched. This is why we have to approach this very, very carefully," the senator said.
"Unsigned affidavits, we should let it speak for itself. The public will understand that is an unsigned affidavit and for whatever its worth, that’s it. In the case of Napoles, ultimately, what she says is what will really matter," he added.
Trillanes admitted that he does not believe in the latest supposed claims of Napoles on the involvement of several other senators even as he has already received "unverified information" on her supposed list.
"That's the raw information (but) you can never be totally sure," he said.
Trillanes further said that Napoles' revelation is not reliable considering that she lied under oath in the Senate and also lied in several interview, in several instances.
He said his misgivings on the other senators' supposed involvement are due mainly on the fact of any other person/whistleblower who could attest to the validity of her claims unlike in the case of Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. where a number of witnesses have come out spilling the beans on their purported transactions with Napoles.
"Unang-una sa tatlo kasi narinig natin sa iba't-ibang testigo like Benhur Luy. More or less the public was with us in thinking that mukhang enough na 'yung ebidensya. Pero for the others, personally kasi, I have my own sources of information. Unverified information," he said.
Trillanes also urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) through Secretary Leila de Lima to immediately furnish the Senate a copy of the Napoles affidavit.
"Sana bilisan na ang pag-evaluate noong affidavit para the sooner we can get this issue out, the better. And the sooner we get Mrs. Napoles in the Senate Blue Ribbon investigation, the better also," Trillanes said
According to reports, the camp of pork barrel scam main whistleblower Benhur Luy is beginning to suspect that there is no signed affidavit of Napoles yet.
Luy's camp reportedly said they cannot verify the truth from what Napoles has stated in the said affidavit because not even the National Bureau of Investigation was given a copy.
"We asked the DOJ to fast-track it. Ngayon, itong si Mrs. Napoles, prerogative niya naman kung susubo na siya diyan sa laban. Pag-ready na siya, dadalhin na natin siya dito." Trillanes said as he maintained that the DOJ must furnish them a copy of the affidavit the soonest time.
Meanwhile, both Trillanes and Senate President Franklin Drilon remain positive on whatever dent the issue will create as far as the Senate is concerned.
"I am certain that the institution can recover because we continue to look and help in the search for the truth in this issue," Drilon said.
Trillanes, for his part, said Napoles should not fear telling all in the Senate despite the negative impact on the institution and the Senators.
"Kung totoo, eh. That is why we tell her that she will be protected here. She knows that hindi naman lahat involved dito. The institution can protect her," Trillanes said.
"We (senators) can win it back by letting all those implicated be subjected to the legal process. I still believe that the institution is still bigger than its individual members. This would be an eye opener for the public that it won’t be a case of just making public the names of the senators," he added. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)