State witness, anyone?


TO be, or not to be, that remains the question.

This age-old adage never really runs out of style, especially now that the same question arises in the Department of Justice’s plan to reinvestigate the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scandal that rocked the nation.


Of course, almost everyone knows the story – that Janet Lim Napoles siphoned funds from government officials to dubious public projects which ended up in the pockets of high-level officials and ghost non-government organizations.

It is estimated that the Philippine government was defrauded of some P10 billion in the course of the scam having been diverted to Napoles, participating members of Congress and other government officials.

Now, in light of what’s happening as of the moment, a suggestion was made by the camp of Napoles to let her be a state witness so that she can actually divulge more that everyone had known.

Her lawyer, Atty. Stephen David, made claims in an interview that former Budget Secretary Butch Abad was the mastermind and Napoles’ mentor in carrying out the scam, adding that Abad and Napoles knew each other very well.

But sadly, Abad was nowhere near the list of those who were identified as participants in the scam, which included former Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Gringo Honasan.

Of the four, only Revilla and Estrada remain in jail, while Enrile was allowed to post bail, and Honasan is still a member of the Senate.

Now, should Napoles be allowed to testify in court as a state witness, will she be able to divulge new information on who really are the masterminds of the said scam as her lawyer implicated? Or will she be just singing the same song but of a different rendition – a cover, if you will – and will get the case muddled up than it has before?

Frankly speaking, if Napoles is keen on clearing her name, she doesn’t need to become a state witness, because it should not be a case of who is less guilty or not – that is ridiculous, if you ask me – but a case of redeeming herself to the crimes she and her co-perpetrators did when they stole money from government coffers.

There is no need for Napoles to become state witness to reveal everything she knows about the scam. What she needs right now is to look to her conscience (I don’t think she has one) and just tell the truth about what really transpired, who did it, and who are the masterminds behind that scam.

If she can do that, then I think all of the questions will be answered; that light will be shed on the issue and have this horrible chapter in our government’s history be closed.

If not, well, the question remains, but this time, it’s not to be or not to be.

It would be to believe, or not to believe. That will be the question.