Napoles list: a matter of national Security
The value of pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles’ list of lawmakers involved in the PDAF scam has been summed up by Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson when he said: ‘the matter involves national security’
‘The Senate might collapse if the documents are released to the public… You can just imagine that if this list is made public and public trust in the Senate is eroded further, wouldn’t it have a national security implication?’
While many are clamouring for the list to be made public, many also caution how lawmakers should deal with the issue not because of biases but because of how it might impact the Philippine government.
According to daily broadsheet Inquirer, which holds a copy of the scammer’s files through whistleblower and Napoles’ former finance officer Benhur Luy, the list names ‘lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives, department heads, a former Supreme Court justice, heads of government-owned and -controlled corporations, government employees from different agencies, local government officials, military men.’
Lacson, who is also holding a copy of the list that came directly from Napoles, went as far to tell the media that he knows two Aquino allies named in the list.
The expose from Inquirer and Lacson show that government officials who dabbled into the PDAF scam come from many agencies and hold a variety of positions, ranging from the local to the national level. This means that the scam is very wide spread, and revealing who is involved can lead to consequences involving multiple agencies at one time.
However, despite the far-ranging consequences of making the list public, Senate chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee Senator Teofisto Guingona III still believes there is no reason to keep it under wraps: ‘I don’t see any reason why should I put it in my drawer and hide it.
‘I think it’s time already, in the spirit of transparency, I think it’s time that the list should be brought out.’
Lacson is set to give his copy to the Senate within the week. Guingona has also just signed a subpoena to compel Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to surrender her copy. After receiving the copies, Guingona said he and his colleagues will ponder re-opening the case in the Senate in light of these new developments.