After Napoles surrender, what now?
MANILA -- "What happens now?"
This was the question posed by one of the organizers of the Million People March following the surrender of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Napoles, who is facing charges for the serious illegal detention of key whistleblower Benhur Luy, is the alleged mastermind behind the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
She surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night while his brother Reynald Lim, also charged with serious illegal detention, is still at large.
In an interview with radio dzMM Thursday afternoon, netizen and activist Monet Silvestre said that while he is happy that Napoles is now finally in government custody, the country has still yet to see lawmakers charged for the alleged misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Silvestre was one of the thousands of people who attended the Million People March at Luneta Park last Monday calling for the abolition of the pork barrel.
"Oo [happy] kasi nahuli na si Napoles," Silvestre said.
"[Pero] ang expectation ng mga dumalo nung Million People March pareho pa rin po -- to scrap the pork barrel and for the investigation to start as soon as possible in the most transparent manner," he added.
Aquino has abolished the current pork barrel system, the PDAF, proposing instead line-item budgeting of lawmakers' projects. He also rejected calls for the abolition of his own "pork barrel" or the President's Social Fund.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday began its probe into the alleged pork barrel scam.
Nothing wrong with surrender to PNoy
Meanwhile, Silvestre said he sees nothing wrong with Napoles' decision to surrender to the President, noting that what is more important is that the businesswoman is now in the hands of the government.
"Sa akin yun ang importante kasi gusto ko makita kung saan hahantong ito eh... Super bantay lang ako sa kung anong mangyayari."
"Kung ganyan kalaki ang mga impormasyon na meron siya, kailangan secure talaga... Whatever yung naging proseso, di muna ako mag-iisip ng kung ano," he said.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda had explained that Napoles surrendered to Aquino due to security threats.
Some leftist groups, however, are not buying this, saying that Napoles' surrender may be part of a "well-written Palace script."
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and Kabataan party-list also believe that deals were made between Malacañang and Napoles, who is said to be close to a recently fired consultant of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.