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Cayetano to Napoles: Your money can get you a lawyer

Janet Lim Napoles arrives at the Senate for the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, which reportedly involves her group and several legislators. (MNS photo)

Janet Lim Napoles arrives at the Senate for the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, which reportedly involves her group and several legislators. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is not buying Janet Napoles’ claims she has no lawyer for the Senate hearings.

“Lokohan. Delaying tactics ang latest request ni Ms. Napoles. She has all the resources. She knows the truth. She has a legal team who had been preparing and studying her defense. Time to answer questions and tell the whole truth,” he said.

He asked Napoles so stop making a fool out of the Filipino people.

“Let me remind Miss Napoles that the ‘right to counsel,’ which she so vigorously invoked in her request, is not absolute under the law and her right to a counsel of her choosing is limited,” he said.

In her letter to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Napoles said: “Dulot po ng pangyayaring ito, wala po aking makakasamang abogado na magbabantay ng aking mga karapatan sa pagharap sa pagdinig…Bilang nasasakdal, kalakip po sa aking mga karapatan na magkaron ng abogado na magtataguyod at magbibigay proteksyon sa aking mga karapatan.”

Lorna Kapunan earlier withdrew as her counsel.

Napoles said she is already doing her best to look for a counsel.

“Wala po akong intensyon na suwayin ang pinag-uutos ng Senado na humarap, kahit na mismo sa aking personal na paniniwala ay walang mabuting maidudulot ang aking presensya ukol sa nasabing pagdinig,” she said.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, denied her request. He also asked the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to provide Napoles with counsels for the November 7 hearing.

Cayetano agreed with the move.

He also noted, “if Ms. Napoles deliberately or capriciously fails to obtain the services of a lawyer, the Senate can still compel her testimony and the hearing will continue, as provided under the rules.” (MNS)

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