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Aguirre: Napoles tags Drilon, Trillanes, De Lima, Abad in PDAF scam

Detained businesswoman Janet Napoles is set to file charges with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and Franklin Drilon and former budget secretary Florencio Abad in connection with the pork barrel scam.

In a television interview on Monday, Aguirre said Napoles' lawyer Stephen David told him about the detained businesswoman's plan to press charges "in a few days" against other personalities who allegedly benefited from the corruption scam.

"Ang mga nabanggit niyang personalities noong nakaraang administrasyon ay sina Secretary Abad, parang kasama rin si Senator Trillanes, Senator De Lima at [former] Senate President Drilon," Aguirre said.

GMA News Online has asked for confirmation and details from David but he has yet to respond as of posting time.

Aguirre added Napoles' camp has yet to provide names of congressmen she would implicate in the scam.

Citing David, Aguirre said Napoles' affidavit contained an allegation that a Malacañang official claimed the P10-million reward put up by the Aquino government for information leading to Napoles' arrest.

"As a matter of fact, may sinasabi doon na meron daw P10 million for the arrest, or for any information leading to the arrest of Janet Lim Napoles. And hindi malaman kung sino ang nag-claim niyan, if ever it was claimed, yung sa reward," Aguirre said in a separate news conference.

If the reward was indeed claimed, Aguirre said a secretary who was "first among equals" could have received it.

He also reiterated that the government's plan to reopen the probe into the scandal was not made to go after political opponents.

"Iyan lamang ay pagpapatupad ng katarungan sapagkat kung ikaw ay nagkasala, at alam naman natin na kung ikaw ang namuno lalong lalo na sa napakalaking pag-rape sa ating kabang bayan," Aguirre said.

Trillanes, meanwhile, shot down claims linking him to alleged misuse of government funds.

"I categorically deny any involvement in any irregularity regarding PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund), DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) or any government funds, for that matter," the senator said in a statement.

He said he was never even mentioned in any of the so-called Napoles lists provided during the height of the investigations into the PDAF scam in 2013.

"Aguirre has been using his office to persecute and harass members of the opposition by fabricating testimonies from dubious convicts or detainees such as the Bilibid drug lords, Kerwin Espinosa and now Napoles," Trillanes said.

Drilon dismissed Aguirre's claim as "black propaganda and political harassment" to silence the opposition.

“Any allegation that I misused public funds or that I coursed it through Napoles or any bogus non-government organization at any point is a blatant lie,” he added.

Following Napoles' acquittal by the Court of Appeals from the serious illegal detention case involving her former aide Benhur Luy, Aguirre said Napoles may also be used as witness in the fresh probe into the corruption scandal.

"The credibility of a certain witness depende 'yan sa sasabihin niya. Kung talagang ang testimony niya coupled with documents there's no reason why she shouldn't be credible," Aguirre said on May 9.

Aguirre, however, said Napoles' plunder and graft cases before the Sandiganbayan would not be affected in any way by the probe, findings of which will likely be forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman for its consideration.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, however, had nixed the idea, adding that even if the DOJ conducts its own investigation, her office is not bound by its findings. —ALG/KG/RSJ, GMA News