Aug 052013
(Updated 12:52 p.m.) Months after being embroiled in a supposed scam involving the pork barrel of lawmakers, businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles decided to fight back by hurling a flurry of charges against her accusers.

Napoles’ lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, told GMA News Online on Tuesday that they would be filing within the day separate cases of perjury, libel, disbarment, and illegal arrest in Quezon City, Makati, and Taguig City.

She said they would file perjury complaints against supposed whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas for allegedly accusing Napoles of soliciting money from lawmakers’ pork barrel — or Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) — for non-existent projects through fictitious foundations.

Luy’s family will also be included in the perjury complaint, Kapunan said.

A disbarment case, meanwhile, would also be lodged against Luy’s lawyer, Levito Baligod, before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for allegedly extorting money from the Napoles camp in exchange for his client clearing Napoles’ name in the issue.

Tri-media campaign?

Kapunan said their camp will also slap the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler with charges of libel for its “disregard for the truth” and for “abusing the word ‘allegedly'” in its reports on the controversy.

Kapunan said the Inquirer will be slapped with charges for the series of reports it did on the fund mess, while Rappler will be sued for its story on the lavish lifestyle of Napoles’ daughter, Jeane.

“We want to test this so-called good faith in reporting. Kapag sinabi mong alleged at ipi-print mo, that in itself is not a defense of libel,” she said.

“Sasabihin nila allegedly. Eh kung sabihin ko kaya na may alam kami na sino nagfa-fund ng tri-media campaign? ‘Di ba magagalit kayo?” Kapunan said.

Kapunan urged the media not to purely rely on “testimonials” about the controversy as she belied reports that they were not always available when journalists try reaching them for their side.

“Sasabihin nila, ‘We have tried to contact and get the side of Mrs. Napoles and she cannot be reached,” Kapunan said. “Again, here I am saying, invite us, interview us para malaman na because we don’t want to be guilty of doing the same thing of trying them by publicity.”

Estafa case

Kapunan also said they will file an estafa and “collections case” against another supposed whistleblower and designer Eddie Baddeo for allegedly failing to deliver uniforms ordered by Napoles from him for her employees despite having received a P1 million payment for the garments.

Lastly, Kapunan said they would file with the Commission on Human Rights a case against several members of the National Bureau of Investigation for their alleged illegal arrest of Napoles and her brother Reynaldo Napoles when the two were still being accused of illegally detaining Luy at their Taguig apartment.

“Bago nag-arrest na-dismiss na ng DOJ (ang illegal detention case) then wala naman order of arrest ang DOJ. Ang pinakita lang ay ang letter of request ng parents ni Luy,” she said.

“There must be a human rights vollation when persons and families  are continuously being bombarded with false accusations,” Kapunan added.

Kapunan urged lawmakers to “speak out now against these blanket accusations from Luy and Suñas… (especially since) Benhur is not naming names.” — KG/KBK, GMA News

 Leave a Reply