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People have the right to know

Cayetano: Let's determine extent of Napoles’ influence in gov't

By Office of the Senate Majority Leader
March 21, 2014

PASAY CITY – In pushing for the probe of the P900-million Malampaya scam, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano said the Filipino people have the right to know the extent of the influence wielded by detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in government and the amount of money her bogus NGOs siphoned from the public coffers.

Cayetano said Napoles’ involvement as a principal in the plunder of the P10-billion pork barrel scam may just be the “tip of the iceberg,” and a full investigation into the Malampaya funds scam may reveal a more complete picture of her operations in other government funds.

“P900 million ang pinaguusapan dito. Sinabi ni Ms. Tuason na may P240 million na inihatid sa bahay niya. Meron na rin daw hawak ang COA na report dito. So why not expose this to the public para gumana na rin ang gulong ng hustisya? Ayon sa COA report, napakarami pang NGOs,” the senator said.

Cayetano also reiterated his call to the Aquino administration to weed out the contacts of Napoles who are still in government like Manuel Jarmin, who is currently the acting director of the Livestock Development Council of the Department of Agriculture.

Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy had earlier testified that he and Napoles were introduced to former National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) president Allan Javellana by Jarmin, who is listed as a nominee of an admitted Napoles partylist group Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa Ikauunlad ng Ekonomiya (SMILE) in 2007.

He is also an incorporator of Jimmy's Bar and Grill and Reserval 08, both corporations of Napoles’s husband, Jimmy.

Cayetano earlier asked the Blue Ribbon panel to commence its investigation into the Malampaya funds scam based on his Resolution No. 271. Reports indicate that P900 million drawn from the Malampaya fund which is intended to aid farmers heavily affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009 had been diverted into private pockets.

“Dapat ipakita natin sa tao na wala tayong sasantuhin dito. Administrasyon man o oposisyon. Para yung mga reporma natin sa Ombudsman at sa DOJ ay magawa,” he said.

The senator explained that the way things are going, it would take as much as 15 years to resolve the cases relating to the pork barrel scam unless reforms are made in the country’s criminal justice system, like the designation of special criminal courts that will conduct daily trials for high-profile cases and heinous crimes.

“Kung inosente, dapat 2-3 years pa lang napalaya na. Kung guilty, dapat makulong na kaagad,” Cayetano said.

“This is the reality. Number one, we have to expose, expose, and expose. Number two, dapat may mangyari sa kaso after ma-expose. Dapat ibigay ng gobyerno ang mabilis na hustisyang idinadaing ng mga tao.”