Janet answers questions at the Senate | Inquirer Opinion
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Janet answers questions at the Senate

/ 12:40 AM November 06, 2013

Tomorrow (Thursday), alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles will appear before the Senate blue ribbon committee in what its chair, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, thinks will give him much publicity. Hordes of reporters will be there to record what she will say on the P10-billion pork barrel scam that she reportedly masterminded. Her answers to the senators’ questions will be broadcast live. The next day, the newspapers will be full of reports on that question-and-answer session. Will it give Guingona the publicity that he craves? Or will the clever Janet make the senators who will question her look like buffoons?

I have been thinking of the possibilities for the last few days. and I even dreamed about the scenario last night. From the way Janet answered questions when she went to the Inquirer offices months ago and was interviewed by members of the staff, this was how I dreamed of her answering questions at the Senate:

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After making a long introductory speech so he will gain as much TV mileage as possible, Guingona tells Janet: State your name and address.

Napoles: Mmmmph.

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Guingona: We can’t hear you. Please speak louder.

Napoles: MMMMPH!

Guingona: We still can’t understand you. What are you saying?

Napoles: I am invoking my right against self-incrimination.

Guingona: We are just asking you to state your name. What is incriminating about that?

Napoles: If I give you my name, then I will confirm that I am the same person in the charge sheet. That is self-incrimination.

Guingona: Just give us your name.

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Napoles: Mmmmph.

Guingona: There you go again. We can’t go on without your name. What is it?

Napoles: Mumble, mumble.

Guingona: Please cooperate. What is your name?

Napoles: I invoke my right to remain silent.

Guingona: We just want you to state your name so this proceeding can start. What do they call you?

Napoles: They call me the pork barrel queen, don’t you know that?

Guingona: I know that. But what is your Christian name?

Napoles: What is a Christian name?

Guingona: The name they wrote on your birth certificate.

Napoles: What is a birth certificate?

Guingona: The certificate that says when and where you were born.

Napoles: You can’t expect me to know that. I was a newly born baby when it was written.

Guingona: All right then, what is the name on your baptismal certificate.

Napoles: I don’t know that, either. I was still a baby then.

Guingona: All right then, what did your parents call you?

Napoles: They called me many names. When they were in a good mood, they called me Angel, Cutie, Queenie, and Darling. They called me different names when they were angry: You brat! Grrrrrrr! [email protected]#$%^&*z!

Guingona: Let’s forget about your name. What is your address?

Napoles: I have many addresses. Which ones do you want, the US addresses or the Philippine addresses?

Guingona: Never mind that. We just want the names of the senators to whom you gave kickbacks.

Napoles: Mumble, mumble.

Guingona: What? Speak clearly.

Napoles: Mumble, mumble.

Guingona: Come on, give us names. I will cite you for contempt if you don’t answer. Who are the senators to whom you gave kickbacks?

Napoles: Promise you won’t cite me for contempt?

Guingona: Promise.

Napoles: What was your question again?

Guingona: To whom did you give kickbacks?

Napoles: What’s a kickback?

Guingona: The money you gave some senators in exchange for the pork barrel they assigned to your NGOs.

Napoles: What’s an NGO?

Guingona: Nongovernment organization. You had several to which the senators’ pork barrel funds were released.

Napoles: What’s a pork barrel? Is that what the Muslims hate?

Guingona: Pork barrel is the money some senators released to your NGOs.

Napoles: What do you mean, release? As in release from prison? Does this mean you will release me if I answer your questions?

Guingona: You will be in prison a long time if you don’t answer them.

Napoles: All right, I will answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Guingona: Benhur Luy said you gave kickbacks to “Tanda,” “Pogi” and “Sexy.” Come on, one by one, who is “Tanda?”

Napoles: Sino ba ang matanda sa inyong mga senador? You should know that. Why ask me?

Guingona: Who is “Pogi?”

Napoles: You should know that, too.

Guingona: No, I don’t. All senators think they are pogi.

Napoles: I don’t know either.

Guingona: Who is “Sexy?”

Napoles: Sino ba sa mga senador ang sexy?

Guingona: All the senators think they are sexy.

Napoles: Including Miriam?

Guingona: Especially Miriam.

Napoles: Loren is sexy, so is Pia, but I didn’t give them anything as far as I can remember.

Guingona: So to whom did you give kickbacks?

Napoles: That was so long ago, I don’t remember.

Guingona: You gave them millions of pesos and you don’t remember?

Napoles: That’s the trouble with growing old: You become forgetful.

Guingona: Who are the senators you remember?

Napoles: I don’t remember, sorry.

Guingona: We are not getting anywhere. This is a mistake. I declare this session adjourned.

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TAGS: column, Janet Lim-Napoles, neal h. cruz, pork barrel scam, senate probe
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