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Janet Lim-Napoles

PNoy tasked DOJ Sec to evaluate Napoles’ testimony

Janet Lim-Napoles
Janet Lim-Napoles

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to evaluate the testimony of Janet Lim-Napoles to finally shed light on the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.

Napoles has asked the government to consider her as a state witness in the P10-billion scam in exchange for her testimony.

In an interview with the media in Malacanang on Tuesday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said De Lima informed the President about the latest development in the case and the President instructed her to listen to Napoles’ testimony and evaluate it.

“This is a significant development in our quest to find the truth. A new avenue has been opened and that’s where Secretary Leila de Lima and her team will now be investigating and evaluating the credence of the testimony of Ms. Janet Napoles,” Lacierda told reporters.

Asked by reporters if Malacañang trusts Napoles, Lacierda said the Palace will follow the same position taken by Secretary de Lima.

Despite the sudden turnaround by Napoles, there is still no assurance that she could become a state witness, he said, adding that the Justice Department still has to evaluate her testimony.

The Office of the Ombudsman will also make a similar evaluation but the final arbiter would be the Sandiganbayan, he explained.

After a thorough evaluation, there must be an application before the court to become a state witness and it will be up to the court if Napoles can be considered as a state witness, he added.

Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, has finally agreed to “tell all” about the controversy after several months of silence.

Napoles, who is confined at a hospital and was due to undergo surgery to have a myoma removed from her uterus Monday night, spoke to De Lima about her plan to turn state witness.

De Lima said Napoles was apparently prompted to execute an affidavit as she was to undergo surgery that night.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.