• Cayetano to SolGen: Explain bid to acquit Napoles

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    SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano, a key administration ally, on Thursday said he will seek an explanation from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on why it had recommended the acquittal of pork barrel scam brains Janet Napoles in a case for illegal detention.

    “On the Napoles case, like you, I’m also asking for an explanation… Like you, I also want the [Solicitor General] to answer. But I guarantee you that the President will not allow any corruption to happen during the administration. And he will not absolve those who were corrupt in past administrations,” Cayetano said at the sidelines of a Senate inquiry into the bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration.

    Cayetano was reacting to a Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism report that the new lawyers at the OSG had filed with the Court of Appeals a manifestation recommending the acquittal of Napoles for the crime of serious illegal detention filed by her second cousin, pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

    The manifestation cited evidence that Luy, a former aide of Napoles, was free to move even if he was staying in a retreat house.

    Napoles is the alleged mastermind of the scheme in which lawmakers got kickbacks from the Priority Development Assistance Fund, also known as pork barrel, by funneling the money through bogus non-governmental organizations.

    Cayetano blamed the previous administration for building a weak case against Napoles and letting some personalities go scot-free.

    “Why is it that the cases filed during the Aquino administration were weak? We foresaw that at that time because the big cases like ‘Hello Garci’ (2004 election fraud) were neglected. Here with Napoles, many were excluded from the cases filed by the previous administration,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

    President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel however believes there is “very strong evidence” against Napoles in her pork barrel-related cases.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said this as he defended the OSG’s move, which he said would not affect the strength of pork barrel scam cases filed against Napoles.

    “It will never be affected because these are two different cases,” Panelo told reporters.

    He reiterated that it was Solicitor General Jose Calida’s duty as the top government lawyer to review cases.

    “If upon review of the case, the OSG feels that it has no evidence to get a conviction [and]that there is [no]proof beyond reasonable doubt, then it is his duty under the Constitution and the law to state his position that there is no such case against the accused,” he said.

    “Otherwise you will be creating injustice putting an innocent person behind bars,” Panelo added.

    Malacañang on Thursday belied claims that Calida was lawyering for Napoles.

    “He’s just simply trying to correct want he thinks, what he sees, what he perceives is something that needs to be rectified,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a news conference.

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    8 Comments

    1. Hinatulan agad si Napoles ng mabilisan sa kasong illegal detention dahil may pressure sa taas, ayaw nilang magtagal sa labas kasi marami ang madadamay sa pork barrel scam, pinili lang ang mga kalaban at sila ang nakakulong ngayon..mas maganda nyan mailabas ulit si Napoles at maibigay ang buong listahan ng mga tao na sangkot sa scam nya. Mr. Cayetano, hayaan nyong trabahuhin ng Sol Gen ang trabaho nya ok?

    2. There are so many cases to be reviewed including those falsely accused of murder and those high profile plunder cases. Why was this napoles case given priority? Asking only.

    3. Was Napoles not already CONVICTED on the case of kidnapping of Luy?

      For all that she had done, STEALING THE billions of pesos FROM THE PDAF funds she should ROT IN JAIL.

      Where is this country going to? Is this the new justice courtesy of Duterte? Where are the dumb lawyers in the country? We have so many of them and look at our justice system. Speak up you dumb lawyers!

    4. Well it seems very strange to me they have looked into this case & want to get an acquittal & in filipino time is very fast yet bringing the pork barrel cases to court are taking so long. She had a fair trial & was found guilty. There is strong evidence against her in this pork barrel case yet it hasnt come to court yet. These cases need to be speeded up, get people into court faster & either convict or acquit them. Dont drag them on for ever & ever

    5. And he will not absolve those who were corrupt in past administrations,”
      ——————————————————————–

      When are the congressional Pork barrel thieves going to get arrested ?

      There are over 120 names on the Napoles list and only 3 opposition senators were arrested.

      What about the other 117 thieves or are they absolved ?

    6. JACINTO BAYBAY on

      Its a no brainer. Its not a matter of law. Its the job of the Supreme Court. I suppose Calida can now retire in comfort . Who cares what others say. Its very obvious.

    7. It’s quite strange that some high-profile cases filed are ‘lost’ because of technicalities due to ‘negligence’, simple or intentional. I agree with the senator on the question of lawyering by the SG..