MANILA, May 21 (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Wednesday branded as “illogical” the allegation that the administration orchestrated the release of several versions of the list of alleged pork scam conspirators in order to protect its allies.
“That seems to be an illogical statement. It doesn’t make sense,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press conference.
He issued the statement after United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said that the appearance of at least three different versions of the list of officials who reportedly transacted with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles is similar to the “Hello, Garci” cover-up in 2005.
Lacierda, however, said it doesn’t make sense that they would release a list that would tag their own allies like Budget Sec. Butch Abad.
“Is it something that is logical for someone to say that we are the perpetrators of the release of the list where we placed in that particular list the names of those who are in the Cabinet?” he said.
Abad, Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director Joel Villanueva were earlier included on the unsigned Napoles list and affidavit turned over by former Senator Panfilo Lacson to the Senate blue ribbon committee.
But the Palace had earlier dismissed the unsigned affidavit as just a mere scrap of paper.
The President likewise defended the three and said he won’t fire them without any proof of wrongdoing.
“Mali siguro na may nag-criticize [lang], dapat tanggalin na kaagad. Siguro ang importante: May ebidensya nga ba?” he said during an earlier interview.
Aquino had also said he knows of at least three different lists of supposed pork scam conspirators coming from different people.
On Wednesday, Lacierda likewise said they will only give weight to the full affidavit of Napoles.
“We’re only going to evaluate to whatever signed and sworn affidavit that Ms. Napoles submits to the DOJ. That’s the only thing that we’re going to consider,” he said.
The President, however, said that he still has some doubts regarding the reliability of the testimony of Napoles.
Napoles had earlier committed to come clean about the scam in the hopes of being granted immunity.
She faces a serious illegal detention case filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy. She also faces plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.(MNS)