Prosecutors under the Office of the Ombudsman will block any attempt to make alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles a state witness, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said.
The Ombudsman said that since Napoles has already been indicted, the courts are the “ultimate authority” to decide whether or not she can be considered as a state witness.
“As far as the prosecution is concerned, she is one of the [alleged]principal malefactors…so certainly the office of the prosecutors will block any attempt to make her a state witness,” Morales told reporters in an interview on Tuesday. “It is the OSP (Office of Special Prosecutor) which will consider whether or not she will be a state witness and it’s going to be the court who will finally approve whether or not she is going to be a state witness.”
“We will have the last say on whether or not we will recommend her to be a state witness. We don’t find her to be a candidate,” she said.
Napoles is among the respondents in the cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
The Office of the Ombudsman “is continuing its investigations” in connection with the PDAF scam, Morales told reporters.
The Department of Justice (DoJ)can reinvestigate the pork barrel scam but Morales said her office “is not bound by any findings over cases over which the Ombudsman has the final authority to determine whether or not there is probable cause.”
The Ombudsman has the sole authority to file cases at the Sandiganbayan.
As to the reported “exploratory talks” between Napoles’ camp and the DoJ, Morales said that she is “not bothered at all.”
“We are confident of our position. So whatever they say, let them say it. We are not bothered. We are not concerned at all by whatever they say about whether or not there’s a pending agreement or what is modus vivendi between Napoles and the DoJ,” she said.