Fil-Ams see Napoles surrender a step in right direction
LOS ANGELES - Hours after President Aquino placed a P10 million bounty on alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Napoles, Malacanang announced the wealthy business woman turned herself in on Wednesday evening.
Two weeks ago, a warrant was issued for her and her brother, Reynald Lim, for the illegal detention of their cousin Benhur Luy.
Luy is believed to have blown the whistle on Napoles' alleged scam which involved taking pork barrel funds from lawmakers and putting them into bogus organizations.
The scam prompted Filipinos from all over the world to launch protests earlier this week and has made the Philippine government consider procedures regarding public funds.
The same Filipino activists that rallied at a Napoles property over the weekend were at a human rights protest on Wednesday morning as they welcomed the development.
"Napoles turning herself in is really one step in us recognizing how large the system of corruption is," said Theresa Jaranilla, regional coordinator of Bayan-USA.
"It's a positive step that Napoles has surrendered but I think people still need to be vigilant and remember we're calling for an abolishing the entire pork barrel system especially the president's," added Eric Tandoc, secretary general of Anakbayan.
Filipinos believe this is a step in the right direction and are hoping Napoles will eventually spill the beans on which politicians may have been involved.
They believe despite Aquino's bounty, the president must still abolish the pork barrel system including his own.
"Her turning herself into Aquino you can see Aquino might use it to make people think he's on the side of the people. But we need to remember he has the biggest pork barrel that needs to be abolished," said Tandoc.
The arrest warrant is only for the illegal detention charges. No charges have been filed in the pork barrel scheme as probes continue.
Malacanang offered no word on the progress with Napoles' brother.