Was Napoles just a student in the PDAF Scam?
As the debate rages on whether Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, is qualified and should become state witness more interesting developments are unfolding.
Bits and pieces of information with the potential to drag down big names in politics are slowly coming out. The latest of which is her denial that she was the mastermind. According to Napoles she was being mentored by people from the government.
According to the Manila Times, a reliable source told them that Napoles is saying in her affidavit signed by her and released to the DOJ, that a Senator, a former Department of Agrarian Reform chief and an ex-Department of Agriculture undersecretary taught her the ropes on how to skilfully execute the plan. The three allegedly taught her how the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a pork barrel that channeled funds to projects in congressional districts, cycle works.
To make the whole cycle run smoothly she also had to be tutored by someone from the Department of Budget and Management “‘who taught me how to follow the procedures at the DBM in order to expedite the releases of the funds,” said the source, quoting from the Napoles affidavit.
If she is proven not to be the mastermind of the whole pork barrel scam and thus would not be the main accused in the case she can qualify as a state witness and come out scot free from this whole scam.
However, even if she would be able to convince the Ombudsman that she was not the mastermind, she still needs to convincingly explain why she lied, without batting an eye, that she didn’t know anything about the scam during the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing last 7 November 2013.
Whatever explanation or excuses she and her legal team would come up with these lies she made would cast a doubt on the veracity of the contents of her affidavit.
There could be some truth to the mentoring information Napoles is allegedly divulging because it would also be difficult for her to execute this intricate plan of the whole scam if she is not in the government and is not privy to the ins and out of the dealings of the government. Yet, one would also wonder, why would government officials teach her the ways of the scam and still be willing to let her allegedly keep 40% of the PDAF. If she was just an instrument isn’t she supposed to get less than that?
Another point to ponder on is, the Philippine political scene is rife with political dynasty and nepotism why choose her? Why did they choose her over a relative or a close ally or former classmate? Which is what most politicians do. What does she have over the relatives of the politicians?
Whatever the truth is, we the Filipino people would be anxiously waiting for the unsanitised truth to come out and the guilty to be punished.