Napoles not pork ‘mastermind’ but not innocent: Belgica


MANILA — Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner and spokesperson Greco Belgica on Tuesday said he believes businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles is not the mastermind and chief architect of the PHP10-billion pork barrel scam.

Never naman po ako naniwala na mastermind ang isang businessman. ‘Di ako naniniwala (I never believed that a businessman could be mastermind. I don’t believe it),” Belgica said in a press conference at the Manila Yacht Club.

It cannot be true that a businessman can be the mastermind because kahit na sinong contractor, Janet Napoles pa ‘yan, hindi siya ang last say sa mga kontrata (It cannot be true that a businessman can be the mastermind because any contractor, even if it’s Janet Napoles, won’t have the last say when it comes to contracts),” he added.

Belgica explained that pork barrel involved corruption of politicians while businessmen merely sought for their share.

Pag sinabi ni Senador, ni Congressman na go, go, no, no. Ang pork barrel po really is a corruption of the politicians. The businessmen are there just to make money. So kung ano gusto mo, ‘yun ang ibibigay ko, I just want my share (If the Senator or Congressmen says go, go. If no, no. Pork barrel really is a corruption by politicians. The businessmen are there just to make money. So whatever you want, I’ll give it to you, I just want my share),” Belgica said.

Not innocent

He described Napoles as a “willing beneficiary of corruption but not the mastermind” and expressed hope if she could indeed “tell all”.

Marami pong alam ‘yan kaya happy ako na kung magte-tell all talaga siya, maraming tulong ang magagawa nito at maraming masasangkot dito. Kahit na sino, kalaban, kakampi (She knows a lot that’s why I’m happy that if she tells all, she’ll be a huge help, there’ll be a lot to be held liable. Anyone, opponent or ally),” Belgica said.

“Is she innocent? No. But she’s not most guilty and she has a lot of information that we can know to solve these cases,” he added.

Belgica also said her entry in the provisional coverage of the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) will not affect her pending cases.

Delayed action

Belgica said the move to put Napoles under provisional coverage of the WPP was a “delayed action”.

I think it’s a delayed action. Dapat matagal na ‘yan e. Alam naman natin na di pinagsalita ‘yan e. Alam naman natin na binantaan ‘yan na papatayin (That should have been done a long time ago. We know that she wasn’t allowed to speak. We know that she was threatened to be killed),” Belgica said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said Malacañang has nothing to do with Napoles’ request to be placed under the WPP of the government.

Roque said Napoles’ lawyer, Stephen David, went to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to ask him to reverse Aguirre’s position who gave the opinion that an appropriate motion be filed before the Sandiganbayan if Napoles wants to apply for WPP.

“He (David) did not succeed. So that’s proof that Malacañang is not behind anything as far as Napoles is concerned,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

“Why would I give a legal advice to a lawyer for his client? If I were his client I will fire him,” Medialdea said in a text message to the media.

In the same briefing, Aguirre admitted that he agreed with Napoles’ request but clarified that what they had initially agreed was to place her only under “provisional coverage” of the WPP.