The photo of President Benigno Aquino III with Jeane Napoles, the daughter of the alleged brain of the pork barrel scam, created a stir in social media because of what it implied or indicated.
While there is some truth to what Office of the President spokesman Abigail Valte said that the president, being a public figure, would receive so many requests to have his photo taken, it was not a one-time chance photo opportunity.
Aware that denying the existence of such a photo would only lead to further speculation that the Napoleses are connected in some way to the president, as claimed by Jeane in media interviews, Malacanang released on Thursday more photos with the Napoleses, with Jeane even acting as the photographer in one picture.
At the very least, the image confirm that the controversial family, who have quite a number of photos in social gatherings with other prominent politicians, have some link to the president for them to be allowed a photo session with Mr Aquino.
It turns out the link is through a former beauty queen, who is a common friend of the president and the Napoleses, who were not invited to the Cebu event where the photo was taken, explains Filipino fashion designer Renee Salud in the following video from ABS-CBN.
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Also on Thursday, Benjamin Luy, the whistleblower in the pork barrel scam, provided the Senate hearing more details on how the scam was allegedly committed by Ms Napoles through the creation of dummy nongovernmental organisations that seek pork barrel funds from legislators who allegedly demand a certain percentage of the amount.
One interesting disclosure of Mr Luy, a relative of Ms Napoles, is that sometimes the money would not fit inside the vault that it is kept in the bathtub.
In an interview with investigative journalist Malou Mangahas, Ms Napoles claimed that Mr Luy filed a case of illegal detention against her to retaliate for the case she filed against him for pocketing P300,000 that Ms Napoles asked Mr Luy to deposit.
Mr Luy used to work as Ms Napoles's personal assistant. He also said that sometimes Ms Napoles kept the money that could not be accommodated inside the vault under her pillows. But Ms Napoles insisted what is beneath her pillow is a rosary.