The “Iron Lady of Asia” and “Dragon Lady” of Philippine politics Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has a few things she would like to ask alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, starting with “What’s the most expensive handbag?”
The veteran senator’s curiosity is not limited to Napoles’ knowledge of lavish fashion trends. Santiago would also like to know more about the depth of Napoles’ involvement in the pork barrel scandal. The senator would also like to have a session with the whistleblowers to find out more information for the investigation of the Blue Ribbon Committee.
“We want to catch them at plunder because that’s what they really committed,” Santiago said about the lawmakers who were allegedly involved in the same scam.
Any lawmaker proven guilty with plunder charges will be detained without bail.
Santiago has other strong words for the involved legislators, some of which are her colleagues in the Senate.
“Die! Eat, blank and Die!,” Santiago said vehemently.
“Commit harakiri. You owe it to the Filipino people. We should all wear our Filipino robes and bow in front of TV and harakiri ourselves… The whole system is just so bad that’s why people get sick. I think this is the country with the most sick people in the whole world (yet) we continue to go to office as if nothing happened,” Santiago added.
“We are really, really sick or morally sick, mentally sick. The higher the positions, the higher their mental sickness,” said Santiago, who is also for the abolition of the Philippine Congress as well as the pork barrel system.
Napoles has been battling claustrophobia, high blood pressure, and fluctuating blood sugar levels since she was transferred to Fort Sto. Domingo on Sunday. The businesswoman-turned-suspected-mastermind is also a diabetic, which requires three shots of insulin a day. Napoles was granted a refridgerator in her detention facility in order to keep her medicine — a privilege that an ordinary detainee was never given.
Santiago says that due to the numerous supposed threats to Napoles’ safety as well as health, the alleged scam mastermind should release her testimony about the said scam.
“Any adverse event could prevent Napoles from fully identifying the senators and congressmen with whom she had PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) transactions. For example, any of the suspects could hire operatives to silence her, or she might inflict physical damage on herself. She might contract a life-threatening ailment,” Santiago said.
In an event that something happens to napoles after she has given her testimony, Santiago said that the “perpetuation of testimony” is still permissible under the Rules of Court.
napoles will be attending her arraignment on September 9th at the Makati Regional Trial Court for charges of serious illegal detention of former employee and whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Santiago is still against the proposal that Napoles should become a state witness for the investigation of the pork barrel scam.
“If she will do that, I will agree that she will be the least guilty…So far in the hands of the DOJ, particularly the NBI, we have no evidence,” Santiago said.
“The Penal Code is very strict on the rule of making an individual a state witness, because she would be absolved of wrongdoings. The charges against a state witness will mean the dropping of the charges against her,” she added.
With reports from Christine Mendez and Virgil Lopez