Napoles has powerful backers, says Cayetano

Posted at 05/29/14 1:45 PM


MANILA - Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano believes powerful people are backing Janet Lim Napoles to muddle the issue of the pork barrel scam and prolong the investigation.

Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Cayetano said Napoles is turning the tables on politicians by painting herself as an ordinary businesswoman who was victimized by lawmakers.

"She passes herself off as a legitimate businesswoman who was victimized by politicians dahil tinuruan siya at akala niya ganun," he said.

He also criticized the alleged "tell-all" affidavit that Napoles submitted to the Department of Justice.

"Yes, it is tell-all but it is 'tell all lies' not tell all truth," he said.

Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers and officials of implementing agencies to funnel billions of pesos of priority development assistance funds to non-government organizations she set up.

A Commission on Audit report earlier said more than P2 billion in PDAF went to Napoles NGOs from 2007-2009.

Three opposition senators - Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla - are facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman for giving their PDAF to Napoles foundations.

Napoles recently submitted an affidavit that detailed her transactions with other senators and lawmakers. She claimed she donated money to Cayetano for the 2013 elections and that
his uncle, a certain Tito Boy, was Cayetano's agent when Cayetano was still a congressman.

She claimed that she gave money to Tito Boy, which was returned incomplete when a project supposedly sponsored by Cayetano did not push through.

Cayetano pointed out Napoles' claims are vague. "I don't have a relative named VLL or Tito Boy. The point is - I never dealt with her. There is no SARO number. No details," he said.

He also said it is impossible for him to accept money from Napoles when they never had transactions in the past.

"I have no problem being accused but sana naman may detalye. Sana naman sino kasama mo, ano dala mo, magkano at harapin mo ako," he said.

The senator said that from being an accused, Napoles is now making accusations from her "base of operations" at the Ospital ng Makati.

He noted that it is obvious Napoles is receiving special treatment after surrendering to Malacanang and then being escorted to Camp Crame instead of a regular jail.

Cayetano said he doubts the President is the powerful person backing Napoles.

"I don't think it is Malacanang or the President per se but definitely, I am 100 percent sure, that there are powerful people, names behind her because this would not happen without that," he said.

"Number 2, she knows that our justice system is messed up. Ten years ang kaso na yan. If this reaches 2016, it is favorable for Mrs. Napoles to muddle the issue," he added.

The senator said the submission of the Napoles affidavit hints that someone is talking to the businesswoman. He said that before a witness offers an affidavit, there must be assurance of immunity first.

What's worse, he said, other whistle-blowers such as Benhur Luy have not been guaranteed immunity from all charges in the scam.

"Mrs. Napoles is obviously talking to someone who is giving a guarantee or kinikiliti siya na she will be given immunity. you never write an affidavit and then ask for immunity. You will deal with the immunity offer first before you give an affidavit," he said.

He said Napoles is also "making threats" to media by linking some mediamen to the scam.

"By linking media to the scam, she is effectively saying 'Go ahead and hit me and I will name you.' If you are named, even if you are clean, nandun na yun e," he said.