Palace: Why would we implicate Cabinet men?

Posted at 05/21/14 6:09 PM

MANILA - The spokesman of President Aquino denied Wednesday that the administration is trying to sabotage the prosecution of the multibillion peso pork barrel scam cases with the release of different lists of alleged beneficiaries of the pork barrel scam.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it would be illogical for Malacanang to issue a list that would implicate Cabinet officials such as Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

"Is it something that is logical for someone to say that we are the perpetrators of the release of the list where we placed in that particular list the names of those who are in the Cabinet? That seems to be an illogical statement. It doesn't make sense," he said.

"How can the President give that instruction when we are not in the possession of whatever list is out there, flowing in the social media, or out there? So that's, I think, that's not a correct presumption to make."

Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, all former lawmakers, have been tagged as among the beneficiaries of the scam perpetrated with the siphoning of pork barrel funds to bogus projects that allowed perpetrators to earn kickbacks.

Lacierda said the extended affidavit of Napoles, where she supposedly intends to name everyone in the scam, is still a work in progress weeks after Napoles met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

"The DOJ (Department of Justice) is still not in the possession of that extended affidavit. So there is nothing to… We're only going to evaluate to whatever signed and sworn affidavit that Ms. Napoles submits to the DOJ. That's the only thing that we're going to consider. And again, we are looking at this based on the instruction given by the President on: 'Let's look for the evidence, and where the evidence leads, that's where we're going.'"

So far, only opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, along with some former congressmen, have been indicted for the scam which supposedly involves more lawmakers.