'Napoles met with 2 NBI officials'

Posted at 03/19/14 9:50 AM


MANILA - Former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala confirm two NBI officials met with alleged pork scam operator Janet Lim Napoles last year.

They declined to identify the officials but are willing to divulge all they know during the NBI ad hoc committee investigation.

On ANC's "Beyond Politics", Esmeralda said the first meeting occurred on May 23, 2013 followed by a second one.

They said CCTV footage from the NBI will show the Napoleses' visit to the agency for the meeting.

"Yung mga ahente magte-testify sila dahil apparently 3 or 4 na ahente joined them during that lunch meeting. The admission itself of that official in our presence dahil complete ang directorial staff nung umamin siya," Esmeralda said.

Esmeralda and Lasala were sacked last week for allegedly leaking information on the arrest of Napoles.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier said she recommended the relief of Esmeralda and Lasala due to "integrity and trust issues."

She said that the "totality of their reputation" was one of the bases for her action.

"I remember a few occasions nakausap ko silang dalawa. Sabi nila na parang iniintriga lang sila, sinisiraan lang sila, but I have my own ways to validate the derogatory information," she said.

"I may not have the concrete evidence but I have reason to conclude," she added.

Only Esmeralda and Lasala have been replaced as deputy directors of the bureau since Deputy Director Rickson Chiong has retired.