Ms. Janet Napoles, the controversial suspect in the multi-million scam of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) must have been charmed by the UP law Batch 78, — she has two members of this class as her lawyers.
Lorna Kapunan, who until recently retired as her lawyer, was a member of that class; the other, Rene Villa, whom Senator Miriam Santiago had accused of misrepresenting his “expertise” as an “international trade” lawyer.
However, Lorna K had expressed willingness to resume her legal services for the beleaguered “madam” on two conditions: 1) she be the lead counsel; and, 2) that Napoles should be truthful. The way her former client had behaved at the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Ms. Lorna K might as well kiss her offer to lawyer for her once again goodbye.
Until her taking off as counsel for Ms. Napoles, Lorna K, was also conducting a press war to portray her client as a “victim” of the PDAF scam and not the perpetrator thereof.
Atty. Villa is the chairman of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). This government agency is responsible for pricing your water consumption in your homes. His appointment was shrouded with controversy but the Palace lost no time in vouching for his “integrity.”
At the hearing, Senator Santiago had intimated that Rene Villa was Napoles’ lawyer in her “coal mining” business in Indonesia and also represented her in certain business in the U.S. It is in this business and the “shipping business” where Napoles had hit the goldmine and not from PDAF, she said so during the Senate hearing.
If she remains in contact with Atty. Villa at a time when the later is already a government official, a breach of professional ethics can be raised. Is there a cloud in this ‘connection ‘ between the PDAF queen and the water czar which the Palace must clear up short of cavalierly dismissing this as another ugly “demolition job?”
It is interesting to note that one member of the class was advising her on “international trade” the other until her quitting on her, was advising her on how to avoid jail time for allegedly detaining a relative, Ben Hur Luy who rat on her on a web of bogus NGOs that allegedly siphoned off huge government’s fund to line her pocket and that of the lawmakers.
Napoles must be in good hands — after all the members of class 1978 were considered heavy hitters and some of them well-ensconced in the very administration that would like to see her behind bars. Was Gina P prophetic when she announced in t-shirts about the class stature as “bigatin” years down the line?
Anyway, Senator Santiago must have underestimated her quarry. Napoles could afford to thumb her nose to the feisty Senator and she appeared not bothered at all at her badgering. She would not care for public perception about her involvement in the PDAF and her obvious lying. She thought that public perception is not part of the equation as she comfortably invokes her right to keep mum and gave the public a piece of her mind about making a full narrative of her involvement or non-involvement in the PDAF scam in a court of law which she thought would be more sympathetic to her dishonesty and thievery. After all she had already bragged about her connection with the justices of the Sandiganbayan, and one of whom was already asked to explain his connection to Ms. Napoles.
Some observers would be quick to point out also that she wanted to game the system and weather it out by a prolonged court battle until PNOY is no longer president and his successor, a crook, who will look at her situation with obvious understanding.
Will the horsemen in the year of the Horse (1978) come charging to rescue the snake in distress in the year of the snake (2013)? This drama is worth watching.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, a footnote:
God Save The Queen was a plot to topple Cory as President in November 1986 and put the country under military junta. It was led by Senator Gregorio Honasan and other members of the Reformed Armed Forces (RAM), including Jaime Napoles, husband of Janet, Red Kapunan, Lorna K’s brother-in-law, and other minor personalities. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, according to the Davide Report, was involved in this plot. This provides anchor to Miriam Santiago’s lament that Napoles was up against murderous people and that she should rather talk now than balk for her own security.
To create an atmosphere of terror, the plotters had kidnapped and murdered KMU leader, Rolando Olalia and his driver, Leonor Alay-ay. They also kidnapped a Japanese businessman to embarrass Cory who was in Japan for a State visit.
Rolando Olalia was the brother of Manila RTC Judge Felixberto Olalia, Jr., another member of law batch 1978.