MANILA — Cleared by Janet Lim Napoles’ camp, neophyte Senator JV Ejercito on Monday sought an apology from Senate blue ribbon chairman Teofisto Guingona III and rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson for releasing the so-called Napoles list of lawmakers linked to pork barrel scam that include his name.
”I deserved an apology,” Ejercito said in media interview a day after Napoles’ lawyer Bruce Rivera admitted mistakes for including the neophyte senator in the list who allegedly received pork kickbacks.
When asked who should issue an apology, Ejercito said “Perhaps Senator TG and Secretary Lacson and those other who released it (list) without documentary evidence.”
”I hope next time they should be more prudent,” Ejercito added.
Last week, Guingona released to the media the two Napoles lists submitted to him by Lacson and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
”To be fair to Secretary De Lima, she released it with word of caution that it should not be released without evidence,” Ejercito said.
Guingona issued subpoena decus tecum to force Lacson and De Lima to submit to the Senate blue ribbon the controversial lists of more than 100 individuals who allegedly dealt with Napoles on priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
”I’m very thankful that the camp of Napoles has issued statement that I was not really included in the list. I never talked to Ms. Napoles,” Ejercito said.
Meanwhile, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano claimed that Atty. Levito Baligod, former legal counsel of whistleblower Benhur Luy, cleared his name in the PDAF scam.
”I would like to thank Atty. Baligod in clearing my name. It is consistent with what Benhur personally wrote in his files that I have not dealt whatsoever with Ms. Napoles,” Cayetano said.
Amid the confusion brought by different version of Napoles list, Cayetano said it is high time for the Senate blue ribbon to reopen the Senate inquiry and summon all the people behind the release of the controversial list.
”Let’s bring all of them here so that we will able to know who is telling the truth,” Cayetano said.
Guingona has yet to decide whether to reopen the Senate inquiry.
The blue ribbon chairman has released initial committee report which recommended the filing of plunder charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. and other individuals including Napoles.