Palace: No special treatment for pork barrel scam queen Napoles
“We’re the government and we’re accountable to the people. We’d rather be criticized doing our job than not doing our job.”
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Malacañang said Monday it would rather “err on the side of caution” in protecting Janet Lim Napoles so she could face the law. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda reiterated there was no special treatment accorded to her from the time she surrendered until her transfer to a detention facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“The government would like to see her alive than dead… We’ll be criticized if something happens to Janet Napoles. We’d rather err on the side of caution,” Lacierda said at a media briefing.
“We’re the government and we’re accountable to the people. We’d rather be criticized doing our job than not doing our job,” he added.
Napoles is alleged as behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam that siphoned off Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Congress to bogus Non-Government Organizations (NGO) with legislators both in the Senate and the House of Representatives getting commissions from ghost projects.
Among those named in a Commission on Audit (COA) report as legislators who ‘connived’ with Napoles and her NGOs in the filthy scam were former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Bong Revilla. who allowed billions of pesos of their PDAF to be used by the pork barrel scam queen.
Several critics observed that the heavily escorted transfer and detention of Napoles from a Makati City jail to a more secure Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa was an “overkill.”
“Where do you draw the line kung overkill ito o hindi?” Lacierda said.
The camp of Napoles said the businesswoman have been receiving death threats since the scam broke out.
Napoles surrendered last week to no less than President Aquino several weeks after she went into hiding following issuance of arrest warrant for illegal detention filed by Benhar Luy, a former employee who spilled the beans on Napoles’ billion-peso PDAF scamming operation.
There were earlier speculations Napoles had undergone plastic surgery for another face or had put up her own higher reward for authorities to not purposely find her after President Aquino put up a P10-billion bounty for her arrest. (with PNA report)