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Questions on the treatment of Napoles

By Emil Jurado | Sep. 03, 2013 at 12:01am
September 11 is another red letter day. The people who protested the pork barrel system last August 26 will again take to the streets. They hope there will be more warm bodies this time.

While the “masa” did not join the first mass protest, they should also realize that it’s their money being pocketed by corrupt senators and congressmen. The pork barrel system lists the poor as beneficiaries, but the money actually goes to these greedy politicians.

If the masses would join in the protest, then perhaps Malacañang would realize that the adage “you can fool some people all the time, but not all the people all the time” is true.

* * *

When Malacañang and Cabinet members insist that alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is not being given special treatment, they just sound funny.

Her surrender to the President, isolation at Camp Crame, transfer to a special cell at the Makati City Jail and then to Fort Sto. Domingo speak volumes.

Read this and weep: Malacañang spokesmen often caught lying through their teeth follow this badly-written script. First, they claim that lawyer Lorna Kapunan tipped off spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who had some association with Kapunan in the defunct Roco Law Office. Napoles wanted to surrender, Kapunan said, but only to the President. Only somebody with a connection to people in the Palace can be so brazen to say this.

The first meeting place was supposed to be the restaurant at White Space. Why there? Then it was moved to Heritage Park at the musoleum of Napoles’ late mother, where some members of the Cabinet met with Napoles and her lawyer. They were then escorted in a convoy all the way to Malacañang.  Napoles was not in handcuffs.

At the Palace, Napoles and company were met by President Aquino and some Cabinet members. This supposedly lasted for ten minutes and Napoles told the President that she feared for her life. And then, the President said he was ready to spend a sleepless night with all of them.

Mr. Aquino went ahead of the Napoles convoy to ensure that Napoles would be safe. But why did he go out of his way to ensure her safety and comfort when he could have well instructed PNP Chief Alan Purisima to do it? Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas was also there,  acting like the spokesman of Napoles.

All this time, the media had no access to what was happening inside Camp Crame. Later we learned that she was in an air-conditioned room, with a comfortable bed, and her husband was allowed to stay with her.

No VIP treatment? Yeah, right.

When the Regional Trial Court issued an order for Napoles to be detained at the Makati City Jail, Napoles was again heavily escorted by no less than Roxas and some members of the Cabinet. This was, they said, to protect her from people who are ready to silence her.

The administration people were fawning over Napoles; their doing so betrays their script.

Now that Napoles is in a bungalow in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, is it the end of the story? I say far from it!

This is a woman who personally wrote a letter to the President, sure that he would read it. Only somebody with connections to the Palace would do something like that.

Note that the visibly embarrassed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was kept in the dark about the surrender of Napoles (I still wonder why she has not resigned).  Now the idea of Napoles being a state witness is being floated.

Indeed I have a sneaking suspicion that Napoles will be used by the administration against some oppositionists. With 2016 as the aim, the grand plan is to make President Aquino’s anointed candidate smell like roses.

The Palace presumes we are all stupid.

* * *

Napoles’ surrender has overshadowed the fact that Gross Domestic Product grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter of this year. This surpassed the growth of China and all our neighbors in the Asean region.

The numbers show we are headed in the right direction. Alas, look at us now. This news of massive plunder must be forcing foreign investors to have second thoughts about our country. Why do you think we remain the laggard when it comes to foreign investments?

If President Aquino and his economic managers have not yet fully realized why, then they are deaf and blind.  The answer is staring us at the face.
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