By GENALYN KABILING
Pork barrel scam suspect Janet Napoles is ready to “tell all” about the pork barrel scam, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Tuesday in defense of her provisional admission to the government’s witness protection program (WPP).
Speaking at a Palace news conference, Aguirre said he met with Napoles two months ago when she offered to make a tell-all testimony about the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“Nagharap kami. Sinabi niya sa akin, I’m going to tell all, lahat ng kinakasangkutan sa PDAF scam na ‘to. Sasabihin ko lahat ‘yan,” he said.
But if Napoles reneges on her offer to testify, Aguirre made clear that her admission to the witness protection program would be revoked.
Aguirre revealed that the relatives and lawyer of Napoles were the first to approach the DoJ about her willingness to tell everything she knows about the alleged fund misuse.
“Janet Napoles is now ready to tell all, tell everything everything what she knows about the PDAF scam,” he said.
“Initially, (she) said (she’s) going to execute an affidavit and other affidavits later so we accepted it, and she requested that (she) be put in provisional coverage of WPP, we agreed to it,” he added.
Aguirre agreed that Napoles should be allowed to speak about the pork barrel scam to finally attain justice on the corruption issue. “I believe justice will be done if Janet Napoles will be allowed to speak and tell the truth about this,” he said.
Apart from his personal encounter with Napoles, Aguirre also confirmed that he and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea met with Napoles lawyer, Stephen David, in Malacañang last month.
But the justice chief denied any irregularity in the Palace meeting, saying Napoles’ lawyer merely sought an “opinion,” not legal advice, about the proposed jail transfer of his client.
“I said to the lawyer, it is your duty to get Janet Napoles out of Taguig jail. You should file appropriate motion before the division of the Sandiganbayan,” Aguirre said, recalling his conversation with David.
Aguirre said David went to the Palace to ask Medialdea to reverse his opinion on the jail transfer but the Executive Secretary merely shared the same view.
David earlier bared that he was advised by the Palace to file the motion seeking the transfer of Napoles from Camp Bagong Diwa to the DoJ. He originally wanted to rush Napoles transfer to another place due to alleged threats to her life.
Prior to Aguirre’s press conference, Medialdea denied giving any legal advice to the lawyer of Napoles.
“Why would I give a legal advice to a lawyer for his client. If I were his client I will fire him,” Medialdea said in statement sent to the media.
Despite the apparent involvement of some administration officials, Malacañang insisted that the President had no hand in dealing with the case of Napoles, including her provisional entry to the WPP.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President does not micromanage and would leave the matter to Aguirre to perform his duty according to the law. “At this point, the President need not do anything, he trusts Secretary Aguirre is doing the right thing,” he said in the same Palace news conference.
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