MANILA, Philippines — “She’s an open target.”
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima informed the media Tuesday that alleged pork barrel scam mastermind and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles “spilled the beans on the three senators” during their meeting at the Ospital ng Makati.
“She realized that the longer that she remains silent, the more her life remains at risk… She said that there are threats through texts, through phone calls and sometimes her family is the target,” de Lima said.
De Lima said that Napoles has been receiving threats to her life and family. Napoles clutched a rosary as the two women spoke.
Napoles reportedly implicated Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which amounted to P10 billion.
Prior to their meeting at the Ospital ng Makati, de Lima gave Napoles three conditions.
“I told her, one she should tell all, tell everything; second, it’s only me whom she should talk to,” de Lima said.
The third condition is that de Lima doesn’t guarantee that she would make Napoles a state witness any time soon.
Despite the three senators’ vehement denial of their involvement in the scam, de Lima maintained that the government has “a strong case” against them.
“We have always maintained that we have a strong case… The objective here is truth seeking,” de Lima said.
With Napoles’ statements documented in her affidavit, De Lima said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will evaluate the documents to determine if Napoles is qualified to be a state witness.
“She desires to be a state witness and we would look into what could be done,” de Lima said. “We have not totally closed our doors on the possibility… If the findings of the DOJ and the NBI proved plausible, then we will hand it over to the Office of the Ombudsman.”
Napoles’ claims will be double-checked and compared with Benhur Luy’s statements for confirmation.
“We cannot take her word hook, line, and sinker,” de Lima said.
With report from Bong Lozada and Jerome Lantin