Senate to allow Napoles to name names

Posted at 05/20/14 9:52 AM


MANILA - The vice-chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee does not expect senators in the so-called Napoles list to skip the pork barrel hearings.

Senator Sergio Osmena told ANC those implicated would want to know why their names were dragged into the scandal.

"They would also have the right to just propound some questions of the resource persons, but we will not of course allow them to bully the resource persons. That would not be fair," he said.

Osmena also said the Senate will allow Napoles to name names when she is invited back to the pork barrel scam inquiry.

"If she wants to add 10 names more, we're not gonna tell her not to do that... Let the chips fall where they may," he said.

Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers and government officials to siphon billions of pesos in priority development assistance funds (PDAF) to ghost projects of non-government organizations that she set up.

A Commission on Audit report has confirmed more than 2 billion pesos in PDAF were allocated to Napoles NGOs from 2007-2009.

At least three opposition lawmakers - Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla - are facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged links to the scam.

Napoles earlier submitted a list of individuals including 11 senators and 70 congressmen who allegedly benefited from the scam.

The 11 senators include Revilla, Estrada, Enrile, Vicente Sotto, Loren Legarda, Koko Pimentel, Manny Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gringo Honasan, the late senator Robert Barbers and Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

Napoles' lawyer, Bruce Rivera, on Monday said his client will add the names of 3 more senators allegedly linked to the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

He said Napoles discovered the names of the 3 senators after checking her transaction records from as far back as the year 2000.

"At least three more senators...I don't want to say (if they are incumbent). Sa Cabinet secretaries, wala ata. I am sure that senators and congressmen may madadagdag," he said.

"It is because the transactions are not just in 2007-2009. It started in 2000. So siyempre it was a very long list of transactions and you tend to forget, she does not have a photographic memory that you know every nook and cranny. When she checked her transaction records, ay meron pala ako nito. Ay may deal pala ako nito," he added. With a report from ANC