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  EDITORIAL

Muddling the pork issue



Many issues ago, Philippines Today reported that with the way the pork barrel scam investigation was going on, the special treatment of alleged scam queen Janet Lim Napoles and the delays and segmentation in the disclosure of documents and details related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Malampaya Fund, including the documents of Napoles and the whistleblowers, the “queen” may yet end up as the government witness. This now is surfacing, and officially, as Napoles offered “to tell all” what she knows as she submitted a 32-page expanded sworn affidavit in which she implicated three Cabinet members of President Benigo S. Aquino III and many of his senators and congressmen allies and yet delisted one or two of them who were earlier named.
What is most telling about the expanded affidavit is that while she insisted that then Congressman, now Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, was her tutor in the scheme of things, Napoles claimed that she was not the most guilty as she is only an ordinary citizen who could not have succeeded without the participation of government officials and lawmakers who goaded and tolerated and benefited from the scam for several years. As such, she was applying as state witness under the Witness Protection Program and appealed to spare her children from the cases because she claimed they never participated in the alleged scam. Perhaps it would be necessary to point out to her that her children certainly benefitted from her ill gotten billions.
But while Napoles has now spilled the beans on so many senators and congressmen and officials, promising to even tell more and submit documents to support her claims, President Aquino and his top aides, instead of welcoming the alleged queen’s turnabout (from no comment and denial to telling all) and ordering a no-nonsense and full-blown investigation no matter who gets hurt, immediately questioned Napoles’ motives and credibility, saying she was only muddling the case. Whatever it is, whether Napoles was telling the truth or was merely concocting statements incriminating so many people and selectively cleared others, an independent investigation body is now in order to take over from the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee or any panel from the House of Representatives. The membership of these probe bodies are themselves tainted with doubts with their being included in the Napoles list.
Whatever path the government will thread, straight or crooked, the people deserve nothing but truth and justice.



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