Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
May 13


PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should stop treating his allies
with kid gloves after former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson named Budget
Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr. as one of those allegedly implicated
by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and whistleblower Benhur Luy in the
multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the head of the House
independent minority bloc, said President Aquino should also ensure
that those implicated will be charged, including his allies.

“The concerned officials must stop pussyfooting, let’s get straight
to the point and do what needs to be done. There should be no kid
gloves treatment to Sec. Abad and other administration allies who may
be implicated in the pork barrel scam. The meaningful and lasting
reforms will not materialize if the color blind attitude of this
administration will continue where critics are only charged and
persecuted,” Romualdez pointed out.

“Where is President Aquino’s so-called ‘straight path’ here? A
relentless pursuit to all who may have involvement in the pork barrel
scam must be pursued, regardless of their political affiliation.
President Aquino should guarantee the indictment of those implicated,
including his political allies,” Romualdez stressed.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said President Aquino
“should go beyond mere probe. Experience shows that probes, even if
vigorously initiated, end with a whimper- nobody indicted. So, in this
case, PNoy should ensure the desired outcome – the indictment of the
guilty, including his allies.”

But Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr., vice president of the
ruling Liberal Party (LP), cautioned the public about Lacson’s
personal agenda in disclosing the names of some politicians in the
Napoles list.

“The Senate blue ribbon committee will summon (Justice Sec.) Leila
(de Lima). Let’s take it from there. I think Lacson has his own game,”
Belmonte stressed in a separate interview.

Misamis Occidental Rep. Jorge Almonte and House Deputy Majority Leader
and Quezon City Rep. Bolet Banal agreed with Belmonte that it would be
best to wait for the outcome of the Senate inquiry.

“Since the matter has been dealt with by the Senate blue ribbon
committee and DoJ secretary is required to appear before it, it would
be untimely for the President to order such a probe,” said Almonte,
the chairman of the House committee on public information.

For his part, Banal said: “The Senate already ordered the justice
secretary to turn over the list Napoles gave to her and Sec. De Lima
said she will comply. Sen Lacson also said that if summoned he will
also comply and hand over the documents in his possession. The
contents of both lists, as well as the discrepancies, can then be
verified. Let us wait for the mystery to unfold in the Senate blue
ribbon committee.”

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, a member of Romualdez
bloc, said “justice should be meted without fear or favor. It is time
we stop this circus and get Napoles and the whistle blowers come out
and confront with their evidence if any.”

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, secretary general and spokesman of the
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), accused President Aquino of
cover-up for not doing anything against his allies after seeing the

“I think the more important question is, is Pnoy claims that he
received a list also, why did he only tell us now and secondly why did
he not relieve the cabinet secretaries involved? I can smell an
attempt to cover-up,” Tiangco said.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano III said the Napoles multi-billion peso
scam has become a ludicrous, wacky and bizarre news serial already as
more and more people claim to have the “authentic” list of

“Instead of getting to the bottom of the truth, things have been
muddled and have become more complicated as events unfold by the day,”
Albano, member of the House minority bloc, said.

“Lahat nalang nagsasabi na may listahan.  Si Justice Secretary Leila
de Lima; si former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, even whistleblower Sandra Cam
– they are all trying to muddle the issue.  Hindi na natin alam kung
alin talaga ang tunay na listahan,” Albano added.

Lacson also named Sens. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Francis “Chiz”
Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Jinggoy
Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. as among in
the lists of Napoles and Luy.(RPP)

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