Manila, PHILIPPINES — Malacañang just released photographs of President Aquino with the Napoles family along with other photographs taken during a function in Cebu last November of 2012. Along in this release is also one where Aquino is seen with Janet Napoles and Renee Salud, a fashion designer.
There where 24 photographs released. The Palace wanted to show that President Aquino was just obligated to photo requests by several individuals albeit not knowing them personally. Malacañang again stressed that President Aquino did not know Janet Napoles on a personal level.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said that “He doesn’t know them personally. He still didn’t know them personally,”
He also added “I’ve shown some of those photos and it’s really just a question of her going and asking for the picture. He didn’t even know who she was,”
The Palace however will not restrict photo requests with the President in the future.
“Mahirap gawin ‘yon. Kung magpunta ka sa isang event–at alam niyo naman, nakasama na rin kayo sa ilang mga event ni Presidente–marami talagang nagpapa-picture sa kanya and let’s not just limit it to the President. You’re a senator, you’re a congressman, when you go to a public event, talagang nagpapa-picture ang tao sa inyo,” Carandang argues.
“And, I know this from experience ha, ‘pag hindi ka pumayag magpa-picture, minsan magagalit pa sila. I think it’s the right of our people, if they want to get pictures taken.”
Carandang also added that the President being in a photograph with Napoles doesn’t necessarily mean guilt. He also said that “The public understands that a picture with someone does not mean that they are guilty. Now, if there are funds that were allegedly misspent, ibang issue po ‘yon, pero I think the public will understand, regardless of who it is, na kung… may nagpa-picture sa’yo, na hindi mo naman kilala, hindi mo naman masisisi ‘yung isang pulitiko na nagpa-picture siya.”