Dear Ma’m Jenny | Inquirer Opinion
At Large

Dear Ma’m Jenny

By now, your album of clippings from newspapers and magazines, your printouts of online articles, commentaries and features, your collection of videos of your various TV appearances, perhaps even the photos taken of you when you (or your handlers) deigned to show your face to the world—by now all these must weigh a ton.

Especially these days, when front pages are chockfull of stories about you—or, more specifically, about the list (dubbed the “Napolist”) said to have been prepared by you and submitted or leaked to a number of personalities that are rocking the political establishment.


Why, even former senator Ping Lacson has declared that if “your” list is made public, it could lead to the “collapse” of the Senate. Wow! Historic! Epic!

Madame Janet Napoles, all by her lonesome, still keeping to her personal script of not knowing anything about the complicated funneling of government funds to bogus nongovernment organizations and then to her private coffers, is able to cause the crumbling of the venerable Senate. And this is the body that can drive grown men and women to tears, send the highest government officials packing, and even perhaps trigger bouts of depression that end up in suicides. All this while under the glare of TV cameras and the glares of grandstanding legislators milking every minute in the limelight for all its worth.


Really now, could anyone have predicted that in the early days of the pork barrel scandal when Ma’m Jenny and her family were hiding out in her mother’s mausoleum, things would come to this? That the entire Philippine government could grind to a standstill on the strength of a list of names and a ledger of amounts taken and given?

* * *

From the narrative we are given, it seems, Ma’m Jenny, that it was your impending brush with mortality, on  the eve of your recent surgical procedure, that drove you out of your self-imposed silence. That drove you to prepare a list of senators, representatives, and members of the Cabinet past and present, and submit this as part of your testimony on the workings of the scandals involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Malampaya Fund.

But is it remorse that drove you to prepare and release the list (lists?)? Or is it a desire to wreak vengeance on your perceived enemies? These are, after all, men and women who connived with you (who recruited you?) to steal billions of the people’s money. And who, after a decade of profiting from your artful manipulation of documents and procedures, your constant and avid courtship of contacts and conduits, your smooth exploitation of government regulations, are now turning on you. Some claim that they never met you or had any dealings with you. Others claim that you or your associates forged their signatures or dropped their names to gain entry to more willing associates.

While others, it is alleged, are using you to so complicate and becloud the issues that no one would know anymore who the villains and heroes are, who are wearing the white hats, who are the dastardly demons smirking at the cameras.

* * *

OF COURSE, it’s not just your list or lists, Ma’m Jenny, that are shaking up the public. This newspaper, for one, is running the contents of the “list” said to be found in a hard disk drive, made available to this newspaper by the parents of Benhur Luy, your assistant and distant relative whose alleged detention led to the opening of this whole stinking can of worms.


Then there’s the list that P-Noy has said he has already seen, the list in the hands of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and the lists that have found their way to various individuals, although at this point Lacson seems to be taking the lead, starting the striptease that should reveal just enough to keep things interesting without giving away the whole shebang.

But the most astounding thing I’ve heard these last few days, Ma’m Jenny, was your reported exhortation to everyone named in the list to “come out and admit your involvement” and not fear the consequences. This, from someone who confessed naivete and ignorance and even amnesia when senators and whistle-blowers confronted her with details of the entire scam? Why don’t you follow your own advice, madame?

I mean, who are you still protecting? Apart from yourself and the family members you had roped into the moneymaking operation, to whom do you still owe loyalty and fidelity? Tanda, Pogi and Sexy? The original triumvirate of thievery? Everyone who’s been somehow connected to you—even if only by way of photo ops that have now put an end to social “picture-picturing”—have rushed to distance themselves, denying they were ever your social acquaintances, let alone your friends.

* * *

SA TOTOO lang, Ma’m Jenny, this is your fight, even if “bigger” names have now been dragged into the brawl, including the truly innocent.

Maybe mass distraction was really your point in preparing a list—aided and abetted by those who claimed to have intimate knowledge of it and made early and perhaps premature disclosures.

Only you, and maybe Benhur, can fully authenticate the contents of the many lists circulating.

Meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is talking of “another” list, that of senators with questionable sexual identities. And rehabilitation czar Lacson has mentioned a list of senators with psychiatric troubles.

There are lists and lists, but the “Napolist” is the list to rule them all. We’re just waiting for you, Ma’m Jenny, to come clean and tell us the full story behind YOUR list and how you came to prepare such a list in the first place.

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TAGS: Janet Lim-Napoles, Janet Napoles, Malampaya Fund, Napolist, panfilo lacson, Ping Lacson, pork barrel scam, pork scam, Priority Development Assistance Fund
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