Thursday, August 29, 2013

Janet Lim-Napoles surrenders--some curious questions

At exactly 9:47 last night, alleged pork barrel scam artist Janet Lim-Napoles reportedly surrendered to President Pnoy. The surrender happened hours after Pnoy announced a bounty of 10 million for the capture and incarceration of Lim and her brother. The brother remains at large.

Reports say that Napoles surrendered after her lawyer, Atty Kapunan asked her former associate, Atty. Edwin Lacierda who happens to be the Presidential spokesperson, to facilitate a talk with the President. Napoles, according to Kapunan, decided to surrender because she fears for her life. Another thing though, her surrender followed a decision from the Court of Appeals which denied her appeal to squash the warrant of arrest.

It seemed like a script. Why? The entire thing went like a flash. It seemed scripted.

Prior to the announcement of a bounty, there are several interviews conducted by "certain sympathetic" media outlets with known celebrity associates of Napoles. In effect, their interviews are "pleas" before the public and which aimed to " consider Napoles innocent until proven guilty".

Even the Ombudsman and the Secretary of Justice issued statements to this effect, telling the public that those revelations published at the Inquirer are not "pieces of evidence". The two "furies" as what President Aquino described the two ladies in his Friday speech, said that even the COA report is not sufficient enough to pin down Napoles to the crime of large-scale malversation of public funds.

It seemed that the public is being forced to accept that everything which were revealed before them in the last few weeks, were still not admissible in court. Whoa.

Curiously though, Napoles "surrendered" a day before a scheduled Senate hearing. In an interview with the Inquirer, Napoles mentioned that she will "reveal more" before a Senate hearing. Meaning, this Senate hearing is part of the plan of Napoles to extricate herself from the rut. And we all know what happens in a Senate hearing.

Why is it that the Senate decided to conduct its own hearing while the DOJ and the Ombudsman are still in the thick of gathering pieces of evidence against Napoles and her cohorts? Image strategists have released several statements trying to convince the public that the blue ribbon committee chaired by no less than senator Teofisto Guingona is reputable enough to dispense a publicly acceptable decision.

A senate intervention will not help in mitigating public anger against Napoles, her cohorts, and against the pork barrel scam.  Fact is, it would only worsen the situation and lessen public trust with the senate as an institution, because it will be perceived as a ruse, a way to cleanse the reputation of Senators involved in the scam.