Earlier speculations linking Janet Lim-Napoles, the pork barrel scam queen, with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, was further fueled on Wednesday after a photo of the president with the controversial daughter of the businesswoman surfaced.
Prior to the issuance of a statement downplaying, but also confirming the authenticity of the photo, Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte insisted the president did not know Ms Napoles.
But a day after her surrender, talent manager Lolit Solis - a friend of Ms Napoles - claimed the pork barrel scam queen contributed to Mr Aquino's campaign fund in 2010. The Palace denied the claim, but Ms Napoles' daughter, Jeanie, shown below with the president, had been quoted in interviews in the U.S. that her mum is influential and is well connected to powerful figures, including Mr Aquino.
Now that the photo of the younger Napoles with the president surfaced, Ms Valte was forced to admit the picture's authenticity, but stressed, "She had her photo taken with the President, as did a dozen other people who lined up to have their photo taken with him," GMA 7 quoted Ms Valte.
The photo was taken on Nov 30, 2012 in Cebu province at an event marking the canonisation of San Pedro Calungsod.
Besides photos with the president, the younger Napoles is also fond of collecting photos of herself with other celebrities such as Justin Bieber.
The denial of knowing the Napoleses continue among other Philippine officials linked with the pork barrel scam.
One of them is Senator Ramon Revilla Jr, who has been photographed with Ms Napoles in a social function.
Another one recently caught by the camera is Senate President Franklin Drilon, although the pudgy senator insisted that politicians like him meet a lot of people, but that doesn't mean he has business transactions with her.
Ms Napoles has also been photographed in other social affairs with prominent politicians, including the 2012 wedding of Congressman Erwin Romulo and Valenzuela Councilor Soledad Shalani.
However, those happy days are hopefully over now with charges being filed against Ms Napoles and her friends in the Senate who the Filipinos hope would end up in the slammer with their queen, as envisioned in this meme.
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