Roxas: What's wrong with Napoles surrender to PNoy?
MANILA -- What's wrong if Janet Lim Napoles surrendered to the President himself?
Nothing, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
Roxas even asked members of the media if they would do the same if they were President Benigno Aquino III.
"Yan ang kondisyon at pakiusap niya sa Pangulo, na kung pupuwede susuko siya sa Pangulo. Ilagay niyo ang sarili niyo sa Pangulo, kung kayo ang Pangulo. Hinahanap siya ng buong sambayanan, ng gobyerno mo. Ikaw mismo bilang Pangulo, inaprubahan mo yung P10 million na pabuya para mahanap siya."
"Hindi ho kaya mahalaga na eto na susuko na siya boluntaryo? Hindi na maghahabulan, hindi na kung saan-saan pa hahanapin. Ang kondisyon lang ay sumuko sa kanya, anong sama nun? Di ba?" he said.
Roxas added that if the President did not meet with Napoles, he will still be questioned anyway.
"Isipin na lang dun sa mga nagdududa. Eh kung tinanggihan yun dahil sa pride, eh baka ma-fried chicken tayo dahil sa protocol."
He also dismissed questions that Napoles' surrender was "scripted."
"Ang alam ko lang nangyari yung nangyari. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion kahit mali," he said.
Roxas said there was no "bargaining" involved when Napoles surrendered. "Walang nangyaring bargaining or kondisyon. Ang pinagusapan ay seguridad lang."
But he added that the President encouraged Napoles to speak the whole truth. "Hinimok siya ng Pangulo na isiwalat ang lahat, sabihin ang katotohanan. At managot ang dapat managot."
Meanwhile, Roxas encouraged Napoles' brother Reynald Lim to surrender.
He denied reports that Lim sent surrender feelers to him nor that Lim will surrender to the DILG secretary.
"In fact aabisuhan ko siya, mas mabuti na sumuko siya kesa ngayon pugante siya."
"[Ang sinabi kahapon ni Lorna Kapunan] may posibilidad [na sumuko]. Pero nilinaw niya na hindi siya ang abogado ng kapatid ni Janet Napoles," Roxas said.
Palace told: Disclose deal with Napoles
Militant groups on Thursday said they do not believe that Malacañang did not strike a deal with Napoles in exchange for her surrender.
Napoles, who is wanted for serious illegal detention charges, surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night just hours after a P10 million bounty was put up for information leading to her arrest.
Napoles is also tagged as the brains in the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam supposedly involving several senators and congressmen.
Kabataan party-list Representative Terry Ridon warned the public "not to rest easy yet," saying that the surrender may be part of a "well-written Palace script."
"The surrender seems [to be] among the 'calculated tactics' of the Palace to defeat the public outrage and deflect the increasing pressure on the President to give up his own pork," Ridon said in a statement.
"The surrender of Janet Napoles should not deter the public from stepping up the call for the abolition of the pork barrel system, particularly presidential pork," he added.
The Palace had rejected calls for the abolition of the President's Social Fund or the so-called pork barrel of the President despite Aquino's call for the abolition of the lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Another leftist group, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), is demanding that the Palace disclose the deal "struck" between Malacañang and Napoles.
"Is it a deal or no deal? The people want to know what the terms of surrender were for Janet Napoles. How will the deal affect the PDAF scam and the cases that will be filed? It's hard not to see the carefully orchestrated dramatic surrender to Aquino and then turn over to Roxas and the PNP as something of a script. The whole thing seems calculated to make the president look good even if he refuses to scrap the pork barrel system amid mass protests," Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said.
"We don’t think personal safety was the only reason that drove Napoles to turn herself in," he added.
Meanwhile, Ridon said that Napoles should name all those involved in the scam "even if it leads all the way to Malacañang." This was echoed by Reyes.
"Let Napoles be held accountable, but do not forget that this case involves many lawmakers and officials who have exposed the utter bankruptcy of the pork barrel system," Reyes said.
It was earlier reported that Napoles had close ties with Brian Yamsuan, the recently fired consultant of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.