That businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, also dubbed as ‘pork barrel queen’ or the brains behind the multi-billion corruption scandal involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers and the P900-million Malampaya Fund scam, chose to go into hiding and become a high profile fugitive instead of facing the rule of law, shows she’s not ready to make nice.
Flight, according to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, is “deemed an admission of guilt.” Well, it also indicates she can’t go against her political handlers or co-conspirators. Unlike her accusers, Napoles is apparently not the type who would turn rogue and blow the whistle on any corrupt, scheming politician. Perhaps it’s because she’s an indispensable co-conspirator.
No, I don’t expect Napoles to turn against her pals in the government. Like I said, as a private individual and so-called “businesswoman”, she could not have done it without the indispensable cooperation and participation of some powerful politicians. Private-public corruption requires mutual agreement and conspiracy between a private party (e.g., contractor, corporate executive, dummy investor, etc.) and a politician. It’s either Napoles made a proposal or solicitation to commit a high profile crime to a lawmaker or vice versa.
So, people must stop blaming and focusing on Napoles alone! The truth is, she was powerless! It’s the politicians– her co-conspirators– who made her and gave her so much power and privileges. Let’s just assume it was Napoles who solicited to commit embezzlement or corruption, the only thing the target or involved politician could do is file charges against her. This is what our anti-graft and corruption laws demand!
But as stated, Napoles is not the type who would go against her co-conspirators. But she had to hide. Or, someone or some people urged or helped her to hide. She knows too much! She must be protected at all cost. Like her lawyer Lorna Kapunan said, “If you were Napoles, hindi ka ba magtatago?” Even Sen. Panfilo Lacson, she said, “was able to do it and was later vindicated.”
In other words, Napoles’ bold decision to go invisible is purely strategic, and the goal is to either–
- buy time
- protect her political handlers or co-conspirators
- wait for the right political moment or opportunity (like ousted president and Manila mayor Erap said, “weather, weather lang yan)
A lot of things and events happened after the alleged ‘pork barrel queen’ suddenly disappeared. For instance, De Lima urged citizen’s arrest for Napoles.
1. Philippine Daily Inquirer seized the day!
Inquirer is having a field day. A lot of people were surprised, or amused, when Napoles decided to visit the lion’s den. Napoles’ bold move is what they call “gold” in the newspaper industry.
She may have miscalculated a bit when she thought it was possible to talk to Inquirer editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc alone. Inquirer is a newspaper company, not a financial organization or a political party. It needs blockbuster news stories to remain viable and profitable. I’d call call Inquirer stupid if it didn’t do what it did.
Napoles said the decision to file libel charges against Inquirer and Rappler was Kapunan’s idea. Obviously that was a bad move for Napoles, but a brilliant one for Kapunan. Some lawyers typically make certain moves and arrangements to skin their clients, and Napoles is what some people would call “filthy rich”.
Today’s alert level at the Inquirer office is ‘red’, which means bloody busy. Just take a look at their website. The Inquirer is having a “Napoles day”!
- Napoles owns 28 houses
- NBI List of Napoles’ Vehicles
- ‘If we’re at fault, then let us suffer the consequences’
- P1-B pork of 13 solons ended up in JLN firms
- What Went Before: PH ‘big five’ fugitives
- In The Know: Gov’t officials playing at gambling casinos
Their today’s front page:
2. Philippine Star went temporarily offline
The Belmonte-owned Philstar experienced some technical glitch? Boooo!
Take a look at this:
If not for its today’s editorial that talks about Napoles and her sudden disappearance, I’d suspect PhilStar wasn’t informed about this issue.
3. Rappler’s angry readers
Rappler’s readers for the past few days were all mad. Today, its readers are having some mixed feelings. While most of them are “angry”, some were elated with the news about Napoles’ arrest order.
The mood meter must include another mood– PISSED OFF.
The social new network’s front page story is about Napoles businesses that earned only less than P1 million. Perhaps her wealth is not just unexplained, but in hiding as well.
4. Napoles’ lawyer says it’s OK for suspected criminals to hide
Here’s Atty. Kapunan’s actual statement:
“If you were Napoles, hindi ka ba magtatago? Even Lacson, a senator of the Philippines, was able to do it and was later vindicated.”
What a very bold statement!
However, she was quick to make the following disclaimer: “I’m urging her to come forward.”
Nice one, attorney!
5. Anybody can now arrest Napoles
They call it ‘citizen’s arrest’.
“Actually, puwede ang citizen’s arrest sa mga ganyan because this is imbued with deep public interest,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told reporters.
Wanna join the hunt? If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Napoles and her brother, Jaime, you may call the NBI Operations Center at landline number 524-1141 and mobile phone numbers 0917-5838612 and 0929-295-8888. Make us proud!
The Rules of Criminal Procedure of the Rules of Court provides for only three specific sets of situations for when a citizen’s arrest may be made:
- When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
- When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
- When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
It does look like this one:
6. Angry Birds are asking: Where the heck is Napoles
Better show up, Napoles! Angry birds are looking for you.
7. Angry Facebookers
Obviously someone created a Facebook group called Janet Lim Napoles with at least 246 likers.
9. People who possibly know of Napoles’ and her brother’s whereabouts
These people are as follows:
- Her husband (no shit, sherlock!): level of awareness 100%
- Her children: level of awareness 90 to 100%
- Lawyers: level of awareness 60 to 70%
- Alleged political coddlers: 40 to 70%
- Some priests: 20 to 40%. She’s very religious, isn’t she?
As to the last, I’m reminded of crying Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle who wept over the multi-billion pork scam.
9. Pres. Noynoy Aquino: *Cricket*, *Cricket*
So, the President is no longer a news-maker? Is it me, or the President is just too mum on Napoles’ fugitive status? OK. Perhaps he’s going to speak on this issue tonight or tomorrow. Who knows?
But Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago isn’t amused.
“Bakit walang imik doon? Dapat sabihin dahil ang tema o theme ng administrasyong ito ay daang matuwid laban sa korapsyon,” the feisty solon from Iloilo asked.
“There should have been a specific discussion on the problem of corruption and telescope it to the anomalies connected to the pork barrel,” Santiago said.
“Magtatanong ang taumbayan magkano ba ang kinikita ng bawat senador at congressman doon at gaano ba katagal ito. Dahil estimate ng isang diyaryo, P10 billion, b as in baboy, na ang kinita.” (People will ask how much the senators and congressmen earned from this and how long it has been going on. Because one newspaper estimates it’s P10 billion, b as in baboy or pig.)
Well, better ask your fellow senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Mrs. Santiago.
10. People are still more obsessed with Napoles
This obsession shows they still don’t get it. This bears repeating: Napoles is just part of an elaborate, labyrinthine conspiracy that involves mainly politicians (lawmakers, governors and mayors) and public officials (heads of agencies). This is why she knows too much.
As previously stated, whether you know/like it or not, you’re part of the system. The more you demand welfare services and freebies, the more your lawmakers or local/national politicians get more opportunity to steal.
Perhaps this porky scam simply indicates that we’re indeed fucked up!
These people could have stopped this mess had they been more responsible, accountable and incorruptible…