Quid pro quo? Law dean has theory about unsigned list

Posted at 05/15/14 10:59 AM


MANILA - Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law, has a theory about the unsigned list of lawmakers being linked to the pork barrel scam.

Speaking to radio DZMM, Aquino backed the position of Malacañang that the list of lawmakers produced by Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson has no value because the alleged source, alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, did not sign it.

"An affidavit not signed means it is not sworn to. You cannot swear to an affidavit that you did not sign. It is just a list with no value at all," he said.

However, he also raised the possibility that the list was really produced by Napoles but was left unsigned "because Napoles was waiting for something in exchange for her signature."

Immunity from the charges in exchange for her testimony in the pork barrel scam cases could be one of those deals, he said.

"I am not saying that is what happened. I am saying that is a possibility...Legally, it is still difficult to see how you can make Janet Napoles a state witness," he said.

The list allegedly handed to Lacson by Napoles' husband Jimmy contains the names of 11 senators and 69 congressmen, both incumbent and former, and other individuals allegedly involved in the pork barrel scheme.

The list, which appears in Napoles' unsigned affidavit, tags Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva -- all former congressmen.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said an unsigned affidavit is just a "mere scrap of paper."

In the interview, Aquino said the number of lists being floated in public is causing confusion and muddling the issue of the pork barrel scam.

He said that instead of interfering in the issue, Malacañang should just let the prosecution handle the investigation.

"The less the Palace interferes and takes sides, the better...It should not appear that it is directly involved in the custody and preparation of this affidavit," he said.

He also urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to be transparent about her dealings with Napoles and if immunity from prosecution was offered to the businesswoman in exchange for her testimony.