Kapunan: Solons, not Napoles, should be in jail
Kapunan: Janet is the key to all these
MANILA -- Lawyer Lorna Kapunan believes it will be “the biggest scam of all” if her client, businesswoman Janet Napoles, is made to go to jail for the crimes of others.
Noting that Napoles is only one person in the whole pork barrel scam, Kapunan noted that lawmakers have the mandate to know where their pork funds have been used, and should thus be made accountable.
“People will say the [priority development assistance funds] is equal to Napoles. Why not PDAF is equal to senators? The sad part is, the [lawmakers] are riding on this mind-conditioning. ‘Hindi namin alam 'yan,’ they would say. Hindi pwedeng hindi n'yo alam. You either know or you ought to know,” Kapunan said.
In the interview with ABS-CBN’s "Bottomline," she said the senators can’t also just say they do not own the signatures affixed in the documents supposedly linking Napoles to the siphoning of the funds.
“To say that ‘it’s just Napoles,’ I think that’s BS,” she said.
Kapunan also questioned why Napoles is the only one now in detention, even for an alleged crime not related at all to the plunder of public funds.
Napoles is being held at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for alleged serious illegal detention of former assistant Benhur Luy, the whistleblower of the pork scam.
In the meantime, the senators who have been slapped with plunder last week have continued on with their businesses, the lawyer noted. “Let me remind them that there is a law that if there is a plunder rap, they can be suspended anytime,” she pointed out.
Included in the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman are senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla.
Kapunan also dared government officials to freeze the accounts of the lawmakers, including those of their families as Napoles’ assets have been ordered frozen even before she surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III weeks ago.
The same goes for the whistleblowers who have not even been named in the plunder raps, Kapunan said, adding that it should be up to the court to determine if the whistleblowers, such as Luy, are the least guilty in the case.
Campaign vs Napoles
Kapunan alleged there is a tri-media campaign to make it look like Napoles is the sole mastermind of the pork scam. She said she has a source who told her there is money going around which is why news reports have centered on Luy’s allegations alone.
“It’s common sense. The closer you get to Napoles, the farther you get away from who these people are,” she said.
Kapunan also said this is now the best time to get the testimony of Napoles, as suggested earlier by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Santiago earlier suggested a procedure called the perpetuation of testimony, which will allow the preservation of a testimony while a trial has yet to commence.
“Any adverse event could prevent Napoles from fully identifying the senators and congressmen with whom she had PDAF transactions. For example, any of the suspects could hire operatives to silence her, or she might inflict physical damage on herself. She might contract a life-threatening ailment. For any of these reasons, the Rules of Court allows her to give her testimony well before trial,” Santiago had said.
In the interview, Kapunan said now that the plunder case has been filed, it is now imperative to do this.
“Now that the case has been filed, all the more that this becomes imperative especially if she continues to be threatened…then we should perpetuate her testimony the soonest,” the lawyer said.
According to the lawyer, Napoles is the key to all these. “She may be the worst villain now, but in the end, she has a choice of being the key to opening up what may be the sweepstakes ticket we’ve been waiting for,” she said.