Napoles not given VIP treatment: TAN
MANILA -- The executive director of the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN) believes the Palace did not give special treatment to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Malacañang had been criticized for the alleged special treatment given to Napoles when she surrendered to no less than President Beningo Aquino III Wednesday night.
In an interview with radio dzMM Saturday morning, TAN executive director Vincent Lazatin said he understands why the government has to secure the safety of Napoles, noting that big names have been implicated in the anomaly.
Napoles, who is facing charges for serious illegal detention of key whistleblower Benhur Luy, is accused of setting up fake non-government organizations (NGOs) to siphon off billions of pesos worth of pork barrel from several senators and congressmen, who supposedly received huge cuts from the deal with the businesswoman.
"Sa tingin ko medyo nasa peligro yung kanyang buhay... Dahil alam mo naman, yung mga mabibigat na opisyal kahit nasaan ka, pwede kang hanapin," Lazatin said.
"So sa tingin ko hindi siya dahil VIP siya o special treatment, sa tingin ko baka nga nasa peligro talaga yung buhay niya," he added.
Still, he said he also understands why the public has already painted Napoles as an "enemy" even if no case has been even filed yet against her involving the alleged misuse of the pork barrel funds.
"Lahat naman tayo galit sa nangyari," he said.
He also lamented the government's seemingly different treatment to the whistleblowers in the case.
"Yung mga witness, sila ang nagtatago, sila ang palipat-lipat ng bahay. Parang sila yung kriminal," Lazatin said.