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Miriam: Napoles should face Senate ‘pork’ probe again

Posted On 2014 Apr 28
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Janet Lim Napoles, wearing a bullet proof vest, listens as her lawyer Howard Areza whispers to her while Napoles attended a public inquiry at the Senate in Manila that was held last year. Latest reports said she implicated more lawmakers and officials as apparently involved in the scam.

Janet Lim Napoles, wearing a bullet proof vest, listens as her lawyer Howard Areza whispers to her while Napoles attended a public inquiry at the Senate in Manila that was held last year. Latest reports said she implicated more lawmakers and officials as apparently involved in the scam.

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles should face the Senate blue ribbon committee again after signifying her intention to tell all regarding the anomaly, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Wednesday.

Santiago wrote Senator Teofisto Guingona III, blue ribbon committee chairman, to ask the panel to prioritize re-inviting or summoning Napoles to its inquiry on the alleged anomaly.

“I believe that there are strong reasons based on the Constitution and the Senate Rules, for recalling Ms. Napoles to the witness stand,” Santiago said in her letter.

Santiago further said that Napoles’ supposed confirmation on the three senators’ involvement in the scam, as well as media reports stating that more members of the Senate benefited from the anomaly, provide sufficient basis to ask Napoles to face the blue ribbon committee once more.

Last November, Napoles appeared before the committee but clammed up by repeatedly invoking her right against self-incrimination.

During her Senate appearance, Napoles denied ordering Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers to form foundations to be used for the alleged anomaly. She also denied receiving kickbacks from the supposed scam.

On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Napoles offered herself as a state witness and vowed to “come clean” about the alleged anomaly.

De Lima also said that Napoles corroborated the whistleblowers’ testimonies on the alleged involvement of Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile in the supposed anomaly.

A source from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), meanwhile, said that Napoles tagged 19 other senators in the pork barrel anomaly.

Last Monday, Santiago also asked the asked the Senate blue ribbon committee to continue its probe on the alleged pork barrel scam to hear the testimony of Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, Enrile’s former chief of staff. Guingona has yet to act on this proposal. (MNS)

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