Chiz: Napoles list meant to muddle PDAF issue

By , on May 17, 2014

Sen. Francis 'Chiz' Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance Committee (center). Albert Calvelo / PRIB / Chiz Escudero's Facebook page
Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance Committee (center). Albert Calvelo / PRIB / Chiz Escudero’s Facebook page

SORSOGON CITY -– The release of the so-called Janet Lim-Napoles list was meant to deceive the public and muddle the real issue, Senator Chiz Escudero said on Saturday.

Escudero said in a phone interview that the details contained in the digital files of whistle-blower Benhur Luy on lawmakers’ alleged misuse of billions of pesos in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) clearly debunked the Napoles list.

“The unsigned affidavit of Janet Lim-Napoles, which she herself peddles to unsuspecting parties, is highly suspect. Obviously, her list is designed to delay, mess up and subvert authorities in pinning down the real culprit of this PDAF shenanigan,” he claimed.

Rehabilitation czar and former Senator Panfilo Lacson was given a copy of the list allegedly prepared by Napoles, which he turned over to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday.

In the alleged Napoles list, Escudero and other incumbent and former senators have been identified to have dealt with the pork barrel scam queen, but did not offer any evidence to tie them to PDAF diversion scheme.

“It detailed how much the commission from a project will be, who will receive such cuts and how much, where the delivery took place, but not once was I ever mentioned except for that attached page merely listing my name and that of the others. There were no notations or whatsoever,” Escudero pointed out.

According to the senator from Sorsogon, he has never dealt with Napoles or any of her bogus non-government organizations.

Based on Luy’s records culled from the digital files he kept, which detail transactions entered into by Napoles spanning 10 years beginning in 2002, Escudero was the only lawmaker who was not on the whistleblower’s list but was named in the so-called Napoles list.

“All the PDAF whistle-blowers, including Luy, never tagged me among the PDAF scam participants, not even the COA report on PDAF allocation and utilization mentioned me as among those who plundered it,” Escudero said.

“I have never allocated public funds using the PDAF or budgetary incentives to any fictitious NGOs created by Janet Napoles or anyone to steal people’s money,” he added.

The Bicolano lawmaker challenged Napoles to release her signed affidavit and speak under oath to once and for all settle the score.

“Why is Napoles riding on the credibility of people like Secretary Ping Lacson and other parties to mouth what she wants the public to believe? Why can she not stand on her statements and face those she accuses squarely in proper forum”? Escudero said.

The senator has asked the Senate to summon Napoles and appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee, along with Lacson and whistle-blower Sandra Cam, who also claims to be in possession of the alleged Napoles list.

“It is reckless for Napoles to falsely drag my name in her con dealings because there simply isn’t any grain of truth there. And I think it is equally reckless for third parties who have no personal knowledge on the matter to parrot lies at the expense of their credibility,” Escudero stressed.