Morales: What 8-page memo?

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Thursday denied there is an eight-page report submitted to her that names Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and not businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles as the mastermind in the pork barrel scheme.

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“There’s no such thing as an eight-page memo,” Morales told reporters after the budget deliberation in the Senate.

A newspaper report said the memo, which was submitted to Morales on November 11, said Napoles has close links with Enrile’s former staffers Jessica “Gigi” Gonzales-Reyes and Jose Antonio Evangelista

Reyes and Evangelista have been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) controversy.

“I don’t recall an eight-page memo. What I have received is a memo that is more than 200 pages,” Morales said.

She said that the field investigation office has recommended that the charges go through preliminary investigation first.

Enrile said he instructed his lawyers to request the Ombudsman to investigate and discipline all those involved releasing in the leak of an non-existent report.

He noted that the report is the latest and most outrageous of a series of supposed leaks, intended to malign and defame him.

“The pattern is clearly designed to try him by publicity.  This is a violation of due process and a clear breach of journalistic ethics,” Morales said.

Enrile also demanded that the newspaper that published the story issue an apology and have the Ombudsman’s denial be given the same prominence as that of the erroneous report.

Sen. Miriam Santiago is convinced that Napoles is no longer the most guilty in the plunder case since there is evidence indicating Enrile was behind the pork barrel scam.

Morales has said the plunder cases against some 38 accused, including senators Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, will be resolved before the end of December.

Once the case is filed before the Sandiganbayan, the prosecution can apply for Napoles to be a state witness.

Santiago, a former trial judge, said there are six requirements for Napoles to qualify as state witness: absolute necessity for her testimony; no other direct evidence except her testimony; substantial corroboration in the material points of the testimony; she has not been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude; and she does not appear to be the most guilty.

JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

 

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