"She's Guilty!": FilAms weigh in on Napoles' testimony before Philippine senate

By Henni Espinosa and Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 7, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Filipinos in America stayed glued to their television sets, as Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, attended the senate blue ribbon committee hearing in Pasay City, Philippines yesterday. This corruption scandal has rocked Philippine politics to its core.

Clad in a bullet proof vest, Napoles came face-to-face with her primary accuser, Benhur Luy.

In his opening statement, Senator Teofisto Guingona III prodded Napoles to set the record straight. But Napoles, surrounded by her public appointed lawyers, asked for private hearing, due to the “sensitivity to the issue”.

Guingona said this was not a matter of national security and declined Napoles’ request. After this, Napoles chose to evade issues thrown against her.

“Who are your clients?” Guingona asked.

“Sir, we have a case pending on it already. We will just answer it there,” Napoles responded.

When asked if she connived with lawmakers to transfer their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) into her so-called fake non-government organizations, in exchange for kickbacks, Napoles denied this.

“I feel bad for the senators who were dragged into this,” she said.

After a string of denials, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago urged Napoles to tell the truth, given that there are disgruntled lawmakers who could harm her to prevent her from telling the truth.

But Napoles invoked her right against self-incrimination.

The senate hearing lasted for six gruelling hours. Napoles and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla have already been charged with plunder for the alleged misuse of public funds.

In Los Angeles, members of the Filipino community who held a farewell party for Philippine Deputy Consul General Dan Espiritu monitored the hearing. Los Angeles Filipinos have had a high-interest in this corruption case, with the Napoles clan owning several properties and bank accounts in Southern California.

“She’s guilty as hell!” Perla Avestro said.

“She’s very pitiful. But she deserves it because she’s facing the whistle blowers who are saying she’s lying and her only defense was they were lying,” Arturo Garcia of thr group, U.S. Action Against Pork pointed out.

As lawmakers took turns grilling the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, one lawmaker linked to the scandal was not part of the hearing. Senator Estrada is in Northern California, seeking medical treatment for his wife.

“He said he wanted to have a face-to-face with her, but where is he?” Garcia expressed.

Napoles is already set to be tried in court, but political expert Ramon Mappala said the senate blue ribbon committee hearing was important because some senators are linked to the scam. “It’s the committee’s job to investigate and decide on what to do with the lawmakers are found guilty of corruption,” he concluded.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com or Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

8 Comments on this post.

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  • Frank Atienza
    7 November 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    “right against self-incrimination” … Napoles national anthem!!!
    spoiled-brat plunderer… what’s else proof we all want? We have billions of money and Napoles

    subpoena telephone calls, confirm heavy duty shredder purchased, the signatures on PDAP dealings, bank accounts (activities/money flow) and this whistles blower’s testimonies…w/ chronological testimonies all about Napoles heinous activities…. Juan for all … the unwilling victim !!!!

  • Kikay Pang0
    7 November 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Phil Senate and Congress is a society of secret organized crime , Their whole livelihood is mostly came from stolen money.

  • JD
    7 November 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Look at the Senators, they all guilty what else you want ? She is right she will say all at the right place? Not in front of this Senators that is guilty, they took a lot of money from the poor filipinos. They all have they day when she opens up and say all to the court about all of law-makers that use the money from the poor filipinos ! I”m going to laugh at this Senators when they kick them out of office !

  • Rex
    8 November 2013 at 1:56 am - Reply

    Janet Napoles husband is a member of the military Reformist Movement (RAM). Miriam wanted to find out if Enrile and Honasan are the mastermind.Miriam said to Janet “tell the truth now,while you are alive..you tell the truth or lies your master will still try to kill you.”..My advise; Napoles name names now while you are still alive….

  • JD
    8 November 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I just was watching some of the Napoles hearing on tv ? She looks like a cool cat ? She will take a lot of Senators down with her. Good it’s about time this Senators that is found guilty, I hope will be kick out of office, it’s about time they clean house of this bad Senators that took money from the poor filipinos !

  • VA
    8 November 2013 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Napoles has two choices, one is to take Miriam’s advice or retain her innocence be killed. If she takes Miriam’s advice, she would either be killed or flown into another country where she could get political amnesty.

  • JD
    8 November 2013 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I feel shame to see how they are handling the case on Napoles, it’s a big circus look how they act, they telling her to speak up before they kill you ? TFC please don’t show us how stupid they all look? It’s a shame to the philippines people like they don’t have any rights to find out, what really happen in the pork scam?

  • JD
    8 November 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Look at the whistles blower in the hearing, he looks happy, I’ll bet with anyone the he will be the first to get killed, by the guilty ones. He’s a dead man walking ? So if I was him don’t look happy because they waiting for the right time to kill him ! Look at Senator Sanitiago like a little Bull Dog the way she talks ! It’s a big circus ? Poor filipinos from philippines can’t win the way the Senators act like Clowns they don’t care about the poor people in philippines and all over the world, it’s a big game for them ?

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