Lawmakers, not Napoles, initiated pork scam - Rivera

Posted at 05/26/14 8:18 PM

MANILA - The camp of Janet Lim Napoles confirmed Monday that a second affidavit she submitted to the Department of Justice lists more names who allegedly had transactions with the alleged pork scam mastermind.

Speaking to ANC's Top Story, lawyer Bruce Rivera denied reports that some lawmakers already named in the first list submitted to the DOJ had been removed .

"Nagdagdag lang kami. Congressmen and senators. Yes, we added more names because initially Mrs. Napoles only remembered names of those who were very clear to her, those with large transactions," the lawyer said.

He said a check on Napoles' records showed that there were other lawmakers who also transacted with Napoles at least once or had dealings with the businesswoman a long time ago.

The lawyer refused to confirm if at least 18 senators have been included in the new affidavit. He said they are complying with the rules of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

He said it is up to the government or the Senate if they decide to reveal the names to the public.

"Congressmen, yes. Very familiar names. Mayroon pong mga familiar. If I say more, malalaman," he said.

Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers and government officials to funnel billions of pesos in pork barrel to fake NGOs she founded.

A Commission on Audit report earlier said Napoles NGOs got at least P2.157 billion in pork barrel between 2007 and 2009.

At least three opposition senators - Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla - have been indicted for plunder and graft in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Napoles is currently applying for inclusion in the WPP in exchange for her testimony in the pork barrel and Malampaya fund scams. She is also asking the DOJ to grant immunity to her children.


In a separate interview, Rivera said some of the politicians named in the second affidavit did not necessarily allocate their priority development assistance funds (PDAF) to non-government organizations (NGOs) of Mrs. Napoles.

Some of the politicians allegedly got campaign funds from the businesswoman. "She gave funds to help these politicians run in the elections," he told radio DZMM.

Rivera said the affidavit covers transactions from the years 2000 to 2009. He said there is documentary evidence that will back up the names listed in the affidavits.

"There is proof that the transactions happened," he said.

The Napoles camp will not compare the new affidavit with the list submitted by Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson because the Lacson list is incomplete.

Rivera also refused to compare the Napoles affidavit to the list of Sandra Cam since the source of the list is still unclear.

The lawyer said there is no need to compare Napoles' affidavit with the files of pork scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy because Napoles has more information about the transactions than her former employee.

"There are people who said we should read Benhur's list, e sabi ni Mrs. Napoles: 'E bakit e ako ang nakakaalam?' We don't want to be swayed by what is there...It is not Benhur who has the complete view dahil hindi naman siya inutusan sa lahat ng transactions," he said.


In the DZMM interview, Rivera reiterated that Mrs. Napoles is not the mastermind in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

He said it is usually the lawmakers who came to Mrs. Napoles to ask if they could funnel their funds to her NGOs in exchange for huge kickbacks.

"She would be the common denominator if she was the one who coordinated everybody, that they will meet. Hindi naman ganun e. It is the senators or congressmen who approached her through their agent or sometimes the senator or congressman who said they have a project and she is the one who will do it.
She is not the one who initiated it," he said.

"It is very clear it will not come to fruition without a [special allotment release order] from the lawmaker," he added.

Rivera confirmed that many lawmakers approached Mrs. Napoles to implement their projects because she was easy to deal with.

He also pointed out that submitting the second affidavit to the DOJ is a leap of faith since the government could reject her application to become state witness and then use the affidavits in the investigation.

"It is leap of faith on her part. If the government decides not to use it, that is just our problem...It will tell the Filipino people it is not to save our skin kasi at this point even if they accept us or not, the testimony is there already. It is already proffered," he said.