Villar, Cayetano oppose immunity for Napoles

Posted at 05/26/14 8:50 PM

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Janet Napoles. Composite Image

MANILA - Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Cynthia Villar are not in favor of granting Janet Napoles immunity and turning her state witness in cases related to the pork barrel scam.

In separate interviews, the senators expressed doubt over the credibility of the so-called Napoles list.

“Noong pumunta siya sa Kongreso, sinabi niya na ‘I don’t know anything,’ under oath. Tapos ngayon naglalabas siya ng list, tapos napansin ko doon sa list, hindi nga siya kilala ‘yun ang nasa list. Tapos ‘yung mga kakilala niya, wala sa list. E baka nag-iimbento na rin siya ng list para ipahamak ‘yung mga hindi niya kakilala and then iligtas ang mga kakilala niya,” Villar said.

Cayetano said Napoles does not appear the least guilty, adding the government should send a “clear message” that stealing from public coffers would not be condoned.

“Ano ang magiging mensahe nito sa ating taumbayan? Bawal magnakaw nang kaunti pero pag nagnakaw ka nang malaki at marami kang nakausap, huwag kang mag-alala kasi pwede ka naman mag-state witness. We have to send a very, very clear message in the Philippines that if you steal money, you go to jail,” he said.

Cayetano insisted on the need for the Blue Ribbon committee to conduct another hearing on the pork barrel scam with the expected arrival at the Senate of Napoles’ expanded affidavit.

Both Villar and Cayetano want to confront Napoles, reiterating that they are not involved in the scam.

“I propose a dual solution. I-release kaagad pero kung kailangan siya physically, buhatin at dalhin dito sa Senado para sumagot. Pwedeng gawin ‘yun. She can refuse to answer questions. That’s her right under the Constitution [not to answer questions that would incriminate herself], but she cannot refuse to come here. It is within the powers of the Senate to subpoena and order that she be brought here, of course subject to the approval of the court,” he said.

Villar said, “I want to see saan niya kami nilista, kasi wala akong maalala talaga. Hindi ko kilala si Napoles. I didn’t transact with her. I didn’t issue any [special allotment release order].”