Napoles lawyer: Napoles will only reveal big names if she turns state witness

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Atty. Stephen David, Janet Lim Napoles's lawyer.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) — The lawyer of Janet Lim Napoles said his client would only reveal the big personalities she claims were involved in the pork barrel scam if she becomes a state witness.

In an interview with The Source on Monday, Atty. Stephen David said he met with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to discuss the possibility of Napoles being admitted as a state witness.

David said this follows their submission of a list to the Sandiganbayan containing the names of "about 120" people who, according to Napoles, were invloved th the pork barrel scam.

David said, "very few of these were filed before the Sandiganbayan."

The meeting with the Aguirre happened on May 11, and when asked then if Napoles would name only lawmakers, David said, "Even higher pa siyempre. Kung sino involved dapat ma-ano talaga [Of course even higher. Those involved should really be named]."

READ: Lawyer: Napoles to name 'higher' level officials involved in pork barrel scam

In his interview with The Source, David said they had put off including several people in the list "because, obviously, they were powerful people then in the past administration. But now, we will spare no stone to let these people to pay for their offenses."

"You have to understand, at the time, she (Napoles) was under the custody of the government. And if you will be fighting the government that time, nothing will happen to you."

David said he had heard several names mentioned by Napoles, but he did not say they benefitted from the pork barrel scam.

"I'm hearing their name, probably they're important, but he (sic) did not discuss this...how deep is their involvement of these people."

CNN Philippines' Pinky Webb asked David if Napoles would only mention the names of the people to be added to the list if she turned state witness.

David answered, "Yes, of course."

He said giving out the names at this point would be Napoles implicating herself.

"You have to remember, we have a pending case before the Sandiganbayan. It's like tying your neck if you will say things that will be adverse or incriminatory to you."

What is Napoles's defense?

When asked of his client's participation in the pork barrel scam, David said that Napoles was merely a supplier and it was her word against Benhur Luy.

"She's a supplier. Supplier of fertilizer and other materials which were purchased by the NGOs. She's a legitimate purchaser. A supplier-manufacturer."

Napoles is accused of putting up dummy non-government organizations to receive money funneled from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a lump-sum appropriation in the annual General Appropriations Act to fund the priority development programs and projects of the government.

However, David said Napoles never said that she had put up these organizations and it was only Benhur Luy – the man whom Napoles allegedly detained – who was making these accusations.

"The NGOs were ano...the whistleblowers, Benhur, were the ones who formed these NGOs... You know, everything was according to Benhur instructed to him by Mrs. Napoles."

 

He said that there was never any evidence that Luy was employed by Napoles.

"You know, kung nasubaybayan mo yung hearing [if you followed the hearing], there is no payment of income tax concerning the employment of Benhur, there is no SSS, there is no whatever connection that will link Janet Lim Napoles to Benhur."

Motion denied

The Court of Appeals acquitted Napoles in her case of serious illegal detention on May 8.

READ: Janet Lim Napoles acquitted in serious illegal detention case

However, she is still facing around 24 cases which constitute plunder and graft.

David said he met with Napoles on May 13 to discuss the possibility of her transfer from Camp Bagong Diwa to the NBI detention facility.

However, in a decision on Monday, the Sandiganbayan denied a request by Napoles to be transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) amid threats to her life.

READ: Sandiganbayan denies Napoles' request for NBI detention

The justices of the anti-graft court's First Division agreed on Monday that Napoles should be transferred to the detention facility Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, which is under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

The Sandiganbayan Third Division on Monday also denied Napoles' plea for her transfer to NBI, and granted the prosecution's request for her move to Camp Bagong Diwa.

As of posting time, the Fifth Division has yet to come up with a resolution regarding Napoles's fate.