REDWOOD CITY, California – Philippine officials have already stated that the new pork barrel scam list handed over to the Senate by Secretary Panfilo Lacson would not be at all admissible as evidence in the investigation that businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles supposedly masterminded.
The list which supposedly came from Napoles’ husband was not notarized and was not signed.
The two-page document included the names of those already implicated in the scam like Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, but cited new alleged scam operators like Senators Tito Sotto, Loren Legarda, Koko Pimentel, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gringo Honasan, Chiz Escudero, Manny Villar and JV Ejercito.
Some Filipinos here did not expect to see so many new names on the list.
"I don’t know. If it’s in here then it’s here. It’s surprising that their names are in here," Susan Ang of Daly City said.
"I'm actually not that surprised other than the fact that a few of these people are dead," James Brillantes of South San Francisco said.
The list even included names of deceased lawmakers like Senator Robert Barbers and Congressman Iggy Arroyo.
Gloria Navarrette of the US Pinoys for Good Governance said some of the names on the list may have not known their pork barrel funds were used for the scam.
"I don’t think they knew at the time where the money will go or perhaps they had a very good intention. But upon knowing that there was fraud, it’s possible they stopped," Navarrette said.
She said she expected two more names to be included in the list – Senate President Frank Drilon and former acting Local Water Utilities Administration Chairman Rene Villa.
"And I’m just wondering why Frank Drilon and [Rene] Villa are not included in this pork barrel scam when they’re the mentors of Napoles. In fact, he was the executive secretary of Cory Aquino during that time and I am surprised if he doesn’t know anything about pork barrel and how it is done and how to facilitate, maneuver, or manipulate money from the pork barrel," Navarrette said.
Navarrette said she is also surprised that Lacson sent out that list to begin with.
"Why does he even meddle around in this? What’s his role in this when it’s already on the table in the Department of Justice [Leila] De Lima, right? He should be doing reconstruction for Yolanda," Navarrette said.