Napoles not muddling pork scam case: lawyer

Posted at 05/15/14 1:05 PM

MANILA – The lawyer of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles denied allegations that his client is trying to muddle the pork scam controversy.

Lawyer Bruce Rivera said people guilty of involvement in the multibillion peso anomaly could be behind efforts to confuse the public and authorities, following the emergence of various lists of people allegedly involved in the scam.

''Personally, hindi kami ang nanggugulo. Marami ang nanggugulo, at marahil takot silang - they don't want the real list to be accepted, admitted in court,'' Rivera told dzMM.

Rivera reiterated that the official list of Napoles was the one given to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The unsigned affidavit given to former Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, is the only one made by Napoles apart from the official one given to de Lima, Rivera said.

''Wala namang binigay na listahan si Mrs. Napoles sa ibang tao. Iyung mga spurious lists na iyan did not come from Mrs. Napoles. We did not know kung saan nanggaling yan,'' he said.

''Iba ang listahan ni [former] senator Lacson kasi malinis iyon. Hindi iyon ang napirmahan ni Mrs. Napoloes. It was already encoded,'' Rivera added, noting the ''official'' list has handwritten annotations and erasures made by the businesswoman herself.

''At the end of the day, I can only speak for the list that I saw, and that is the list given to Secretary de Lima."

Nonetheles, Rivera admitted that Napoles executed an affidavit with other lawyers which may have found its way into the hands of other people. He did not clarify, however, if the unsigned affidavit is different from the one given to Lacson.

''Nung binasa ni Mrs. Napoles, sabi niya 'Ay'. Hindi niya pinirmahan. Kasi in the first place, kulang. Tsaka, sinabi ko sa kanya na it will not be useful for the government kasi ang mga sinasabi dyan alam din nila kasi may mga nagtetestify na rin,'' he said.

''It was just siguro, the lawyers drafting it, iyun nga, nailabas, naibigay sa ibang tao. At the end of the day, that was not the affidavit executed by Mrs. Napoles nung nagkita sila ni Secretary de Lima."

JV not included in Napoles' official list

The list in Napoles unsigned affidavit given to Lacson was recently made public.

The Lacson list includes 11 incumbent and former senators. It also includes the names of 69 congressmen, either former or current, one of whom--Joseph Victor 'JV' Ejercito--is now a senator.

Rivera, however, said Ejercito was not included in Napoles' official list.

''Initially pina-encode niya iyan. Habang nage-encode, parang may misunderstanding kasi may times na parang nagjo-joke si Mrs. Napoles. Ang sabi niya, 'Paano kaya kung nasama natin si ganito, ganyan?' Iyung sinasabing JV Ejercito, technically 'di talaga iyun kasama, na misunderstand ng nag-encode, nailagay. Noong binabasa na niya ang sabi niya, 'Ay bakit nailagay mo yan? Ano ka ba joke iyun. Tanggalin mo yan. Nakakahiya, walang katotohanan.' Tinanggal ang pangalan ni JV Ejercito at pinirmahan ni Mrs. Napoles,'' Rivera explained.

''May mga handwritten na names sa listahan niya na dahil na-recall niya na may transaction, sinulat niya. Mayroon ding nagka-doble kasi hindi niya nakita na nailista na, nilista niya ulit. The point here is, iyung listahan, kapag masyadong malinis ang papel, walang erasures, hindi niya iyun listahan."

No Senate face-off

Rivera refused to enumerate the names included in her client's official list, but he assured the public that Napoles has the evidence to back it.

''Hindi siya maglalagay ng pangalan doon kung hindi niya kayang patunayan, kasi wala naman sigurong taong isasangkot ang isang senador at wala naman siyang proof. She will just be creating unnecessary enemies,'' he said.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has already asked de Lima to produce the list, amid growing outcry from various sectors for it to be made public.

There have also been calls to reopen the Senate hearing on the pork barrel scam.

Rivera said Napoles has no choice but to attend the Senate hearing, but he said he wants for those in Napoles' list to inhibit from the investigation.

''Ang request ko, those included ang names will excuse themselves, inhibit from investigating because clearly there is conflict of interest,'' he said, adding that the court is the proper forum.