By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte is keeping a safe distance from the Department of Justice’s move to place businesswoman Janet L. Napoles, the alleged R10-billion “pork barrel” fund scam mastermind, under the government’s Witness Protection Program.
The President said he has let Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II decide on the issue of Napoles.
“Si Vit Aguirre – sabi ko, ‘Bakit nasabit na naman siya dito kay Napoles?’ Eh diskarte ‘yan niya eh,” Duterte said during an assembly of supporters at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last Wednesday.
Aguirre defended the provisional admission of Napoles under the WPP, saying she has agreed to “tell all” about the pork barrel fund scam.
He admitted that he met Napoles two months ago and vowed to tell everything she knows about the alleged fund misuse, including those involved in the racket.
Aguirre also believed that Napoles does not appear to be the most guilty in the pork barrel fund scam, and might only be considered a “co-conspirator” in the plunder raps against some government officials.
Some groups have questioned the government’s decision to turn Napoles into a state witness amid concerns she might only be weaponized to pin down rivals of the administration.
Aguirre insisted that Napoles’ tell-all testimony could help attain justice behind the alleged multi-billion fund scam. He noted that not all those allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam were investigated and charged during the past administration.
“I believe justice will be done if Janet Napoles will be allowed to speak and tell the whole truth about this,” he said.