‘Depressed’ Napoles not giving up
MANILA, Philippines – Her spirit may be down and her body weak, but Janet Lim Napoles is not one to give up.
In a phone interview with Rappler, Napoles’ counsel Bruce Rivera admitted that while the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind was not in the best of conditions, she would not back down against people “trying to silence her.”
“Sa dami ng death threats that we receive, we’ve lost count,” Rivera added. (With the number of death threats we receive, we've lost count.)
Napoles has been confined at the Ospital ng Makati (OsMak or Makati Hospital) for over two months now. She was moved there from her detention center in Laguna to remove a mass in her uterus, and was set to be brought back on or before Friday, May 23, under orders of a Makati court.
But last Wednesday, May 21, doctors discovered “excessive vaginal bleeding,” putting a stop to any plans of moving her for now. It’s been almost 9 months since Napoles was placed under detention for serious illegal detention charges.
The whole time hasn’t been easy, Rivera said.
“People are saying we’re fabricating the sickness,” said Rivera, arguing that it wasn’t just Napoles’ team of lawyers who were reporting about the bleeding. Rivera said Napoles experienced “spotting” the past few days, but her attending nurses dismissed it as “normal.”
It was only during her pre-transfer check-up that doctors were able to see the bleeding for themselves, prompting them to withdraw her discharge order. She has been told to take a complete bed rest.
Even her lawyers, Rivera said, are unable to work with her on an affidavit they need to submit to the justice department. (READ: Medical woes delay release of Napoles affidavit)
‘List should be kept confidential’
Days before her scheduled surgery, Napoles met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in an apparent bid to turn state witness. The move was a stark contrast to the Napoles the public saw months earlier during a Senate hearing.
This time, Napoles said, she was willing to “tell all.” The list – and other versions of it – have since been made public.
There are at least 3 versions of the pork barrel scam list being circulated: Napoles’ version which was submitted by De Lima to the Senate, Lacson’s version which was supposedly handed over by Napoles’ husband, and a list published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer which was supposedly sourced from the parents of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Rivera once again lamented the proliferation of several lists. “The obvious purpose is to confuse,” he told Rappler.
There’s only one “true” list, as far as the Napoles camp is concerned – the one they submitted to De Lima, the same list they didn’t want to go public. “We never released any list,” Rivera added.
De Lima earlier lamented the release of the list as “imprudent.” The justice department had earlier appealed that Senator TG Guingona keep the list confidential until the submission of Napoles’ affidavit to complement it. “We’re not careless, we aren’t vindictive… we don’t want to cause confusion,” added Rivera.
On Thursday, May 22, Napoles’ camp said they would not be able to submit the affidavit by Friday, May 23, as promised. Napoles’ medical issues got in the way, Rivera said.
In an earlier interview with the media, Rivera expressed concern because some names not on Napoles’ list were added to other versions. He said they were “making more enemies” as a result of other lists.
The so-called "media list" that enumerate journalists who allegedly received cash from Napoles is also not true, said Rivera. "There’s no such thing as a media payroll. If you notice during the time Napoles first came into the news, nobody was defending her. Why would this come out just now?" he asked.
Journalists mentioned in an Inquirer report to have gotten cash from Napoles have since denied involvement. – Rappler.com