Thursday, August 15, 2013

Janet Lim-Napoles and lessons in being an Operator

I READ with amusement, Janet Lim-Napoles' interview or "round table discussion" with editors of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. As a journalist for more than twenty plus years, most of these spent as a police beat reporter, I have been trained to analyze the criminal mind and to determine whether a person is lying or not. My perception is further sharpened by my short legal training. As a law student, I was trained by my teachers to ask relevant questions and most of them probing ones. You can actually ferret the truth out of a suspect if you ask the most important ones.

That Inquirer interview is very revealing because of three things: one, that interview shows Napoles is not the simpleton she wants us to believe. She's sharp. She's cunning. She knows how to extricate herself from tight holes. She may use very simple words but these are meant to hide her true character. Sometimes, it shows in the transcript whenever she asserts something.

Two, unlike what other people say, Napoles actually knows how the "system" works. She revealed much of her "contacts" and connections and knows how to use people for her advantage. She name drops people. She has the tendency to do this when pressured. This proves a theory believed by some people that, if push comes to shove, Napoles may yet reveal more about her alleged "racket" and spell the political fates of several allies of this administration.

Third, what is most revealing is that Napoles actually wants a "Senate" probe to clear her name. She wants to use the Senate as a venue to restore her image and reputation. It now says much about this vaunted "Senate investigations"---these are just springboards for people to get more public sympathy rather than a venue for really determining the truth behind certain evident wrongs in this system. This perception probably stemmed from the belief that no one was prosecuted shortly after a Senate hearing. Fact is, these probes are being used even by the "guilty" to prove their innocence before a court of law.

Napoles revealed her monumental strategy---agree on a Senate probe to extricate herself out of this rut and make us believe that nothing anomalous happened. Meaning, this issue will all be for "public entertainment". Napoles is also ready to be the "fall guy" in this issue to protect the big names involved in this racket. She believes that, in the end, she will not spend a day inside the jail anyway.

This leads us to the fourth revelation---Napoles knows some things which we simply don't. There are now forces at work to steer public perception away from her principals and focus the issue sharply at her. The series of revelations made by several politicians saying that their signatures were forged, are meant to diminish culpability and minimize the number of expected "political casualties".

As responsible citizens, we must never be swayed by the antics of Napoles and her backers. The NBI is slowly uncovering a monumental racket involving billions of pesos of our hard-earned monies. Aside from Napoles, government must prosecute other people who scammed us of our monies. There are things which we can just shrug our shoulders and say, well, shit happens. In this case, this is something horrific, something very immoral, something very gut wrenching that it really be very disappointing if after all of these revelations, these goes to nothing. Shit has been hitting the fan since the very founding of this Republic, and it's always us, the People, at the receiving end of a perpetual deception. This deception must stop right now. Otherwise, there is no reason at all for us to support a government that perpetuates large-scale and legal, thievery.