MANILA — While two cabinet officials under the Aquino administration have been included in the most recent “Napolist”, President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday said he wanted to see more proof.
Alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles on Monday night submitted her extended affidavit to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which included Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala among those allegedly involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The President, however, said there have been far too many “Napolists” that he was suspecting that the lists were being made to muddle the whole pork barrel scam issue.
“Aren’t we open to the possibility that she (Napoles) is doing this to muddle the story while we have more and more cases to investigate?” the President said.
He was speaking before media after his attendance at the 116th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy Open Grounds in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, implying that the Napolists were hard to believe.
When asked if what he meant was that he did not buy her allegations against Abad and Alcala, President Aquino said that he wanted to see the evidence proving the allegations first.
“There are so many stories being made up. I have told you before, that there is the expression that goes, ‘if we can’t make ourselves look good, make others look bad,’” the President said.
President Aquino said he had in mind some personalities who continue to actively try to muddle the pork barrel scam issue but did not mention any names.
He said that if Abad were guilty of such allegations, he would see to it that transactions would be hidden, but instead, the President pointed out that the DBM Secretary was in fact, pushing for transparency.
“Secretary Abad did nothing but reveal the budget process,” President Aquino said, adding that Abad had the desire to make the budget “more responsive to people.”
President Aquino, meanwhile, said that his views on Abad were similar to that with Alcala.
“At this point in time, I cannot see where there is direct involvement by Secretary Alcala in areas that are questionable,” the President said.
He also reiterated that just because a person was accused of wrongdoing did not mean that they deserved to be sacked immediately.
“If you are in the government, the mere fact that someone accused you, (people) want them to experience maximum penalty. Where is the justice there?” the President said.