Senate President Franklin Drilon asking the advice of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales regarding the subpoena for pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings has been a hot topic ever since it happened.
Drilon, the Senate President, should’ve decided for himself, however, he implored the advice of the Office of the Ombudsman, which the latter replied by saying that it wouldn’t be advisable for Napoles to attend the said hearings.
Senator TG Guingona was disappointed. First, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima failed to bring the whistleblowers during the first hearing day and now Napoles is a no-show? How will the probing continue if there’s no one to probe?
Later on, De Lima apologized which was accepted by Guingona and the whistleblowers came, but still, no names were mentioned as cases are still yet to be filed against the alleged accused.
Senator Guingona asked Drilon to reconsider his prior decision and subpoena Napoles to attend the hearings. Drilon has yet to decide on the said matter.
Because of this event, Senator Francis Escudero insists that they should conduct a caucus regarding the issue of the Senate consulting the Ombudsman to allow Napoles to attend Senate hearings.
Escudero believes that it shouldn’t be the Ombudsman, but the court who has jurisdiction over Napoles since she’s now in jail for her Illegal Detention case and not about the Pork Barrel fund scam.
Sen. Escudero added that if the Makati RTC refuse to allow Napoles to attend, at least the Senate made an effort to ask for her appearance.
Regarding Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s proposal to make Atty. Gigi Reyes, the former Chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile, to become a state witness, Escudero said that it’s Reyes’ and the Department of Justice’s decision to make. (with Judie Anne Abejero)