AN anti-crime advocacy group urged Congress to repeal a 38-year-old law that grants immunity to people who give bribes to prevent Janet Lim Napoles, the woman in the center of the pork barrel controversy, from hiding behind this law.
Dante Jimenez, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman, said Congress should repeal PD 749 which grants immunity from prosecution to bribe givers if they testify against government officials who received the bribe.
Jimenez said that since the idea of making Napoles a state witness received strong objections, some officials who want to help her may think of some other way to save her.
“Fairness and justice would require that in the present circumstances, lawmakers and private individuals alike, if the accusations were true, should be held accountable for the thievery and plunder committed against the Filipino people,” he said.
He pointed out that Napoles, the reported mastermind of the pork scam and “the worst abuser of the pork barrel system” should be held liable.
Jimenez said the special law, which was signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos, should have long been amended because it might prevent the Filipino people from obtaining genuine justice.
He also criticized the transfer of Napoles from the Makati City Jail to Fort Santo Domingo in Sta. Rosa Laguna, saying it clearly shows the special treatment being accorded Napoles.
Jimenez said that instead of detaining her at the Makati jail which is near the Makati City Regional Trial Court where she was charged, the government allowed her to be transferred to Laguna that will even require additional funding for security and transportation.
He pointed out that the facility where Napoles is staying is not a jail cell but a bungalow, a privilege which is denied ordinary inmates.
“Is this the message the government wants to send to the public, that if you steal P10 billion you will also receive special treatment?” Jimenez said.