MANILA (Mabuhay) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday expressed hope that the appearance of Janet Lim-Napoles will not have any adverse effect on the plunder complaints the controversial businesswoman is facing before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Sana nga anything that is done or that will transpire or happen in that proceeding na andyan si Mrs. Napoles ay hindi makakaapekto sa Ombudsman cases. Hindi makaapekto sa aming complainants at sa takbo ng kaso,” De Lima told reporters, adding that it will all depend on what Napoles discloses in the probe.
But she believed that Napoles would just invoke her rights during the hearing being conducted by the Senate blue ribbon committee.
“Depende kung me sasabihin siya kasi very possible na mag-iinvoke lang siya ng mga rights like right to remain silent, right against self incrimination. I wouldn’t really know, depende yan kung ano ang kalalabasan,” De Lima said.
During a privilege speech Wednesday, Senate President Franklin Drilon said he has signed the subpoena requiring Napoles to attend the Senate probe on the alleged pork barrel scam.
The move preempted a Senate caucus where senators are supposed to decide on whether or not to summon Napoles to the investigation.
For her part, De Lima said it is the prerogative of the Senate to subpoena Napoles, who has been tagged as the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork scam.
“Prerogative yan ng Senate. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang interest ko dyan, I’m not the counsel of Mrs. Napoles,” she said.
De Lima said there was no new subpoena issued requiring the whistleblowers to attend the Senate hearing.
As of posting time, Napoles’ legal counsel, Lorna Kapunan, has yet to comment on the subpoena requiring her client to attend the Senate hearing.
Three senators – Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Bong Revilla – are currently facing plunder complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman for their supposed involvement in the alleged pork barrel scam, which was reportedly engineered by Napoles.
Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna over a serious illegal detention case before the Makati Regional Trial Court. (MNS)