Palace hits Tatad claims on Napoles' surrender

Rio Rose Ribaya
Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom
16 September 2013
Janet Napoles' surrender
Manila, Philippines - Police officers secure the lobby of the general headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on 28 August 2013, for the turnover of Janet Napoles. At 9:37pm, Janet Napoles, a businesswoman allegedly involved in massive pork barrel scam, surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III hours after President Aquino set a P10-million reward for any information leading to her Napoles' arrest. The President turned Napoles over to the custody of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP Director-General Alan Purisima for processing and booking. Napoles is wanted on charges of serious illegal detention arising from the alleged kidnapping of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images)

Pure fiction.
 
This is how Malacañang described the claims of former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad about how President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III met Janet Lim Napoles before the announced surrender.
 
The Aquino administration said Tatad only fabricated column-published details about the president’s alleged six-hour closed-door meeting with Napoles .
 
“The storyline pushed by Tatad is an obvious fabrication. The President was at two high-profile events at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with hundreds of attendees,” a Malacanang statement said.
 
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda clarified the chief executive also delivered speeches, which were captured on videos that can be viewed on the President’s Day page.
 
Lacierda noted President Aquino went to the following public events on August 28:
 
10:00 a.m. – 8th East Asia Conference on Competition Law and Policy at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza
1:30 p.m.  - 27th Apolinario Mabini Awarding Ceremony at the Heroes Hall in Malacañan
3:00 p.m. – Meeting with ES, DBM, DOF at the Study Conference Room in Malacañan
4:00 p.m – Meeting with SOTC, et al at the Study Conference Room in Malacañan Palace

Tatad, who served as information minister during the Marcos regime, cited sources who said Lacierda accompanied Napoles to Malacañan Palace at 10:27 a.m.
 
In his column for Manila Standard Today, Tatad claimed Napoles remained in a meeting behind closed doors with Lacierda, President Aquino, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the next six hours.
 
The former senator also claimed Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa eventually joined.
 
Abad also denied Tatad’s claim, saying he was working inside office from 12:15 p.m. until he to left at 3:00 p.m. for a meeting in Quezon City.
 
“This administration believes in truthful and transparent reportage, which the former Marcos-appointee may not be accustomed to,” Lacierda said.
 
“This grandiose conspiracy theory peddled by Tatad is symptomatic of the old order that has been swept away,” he added.
 
Lacierda reiterated that Tatad still “represents what is wrong with our politics” and over the last decade, the Filipino people have made that abundantly clear by denying his return to public office twice.