[box type=”default” size=”large”] But Ombudsman says there is no such report [/box]MANILA — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Janet Lim-Napoles may now become a state witness following a report that points to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as the real mastermind in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The report was reportedly submitted by investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman.
However, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has vehemently denied the existence of such report.
Santiago, who was quick to issue an official statement in the senate.gov.ph, said evidence that points to Enrile makes Napoles no longer the “most guilty” among those who were charged with plunder.
She said the prosecution must file a motion to discharge Napoles before the Sandiganbayan in order to make her a state witness.
“If the Sandigan discharges Napoles as a state witness, this means that in effect she has been acquitted. But she has to comply with the condition that she must specify every single detail of the scam hatched by the mastermind and carried out by her fake NGOs,” Santiago said.
Santiago said that if the Sandigan discharges Napoles, even if Enrile appeals the order to the Court of Appeals, the latter will not interfere unless he can show grave abuse of discretion.
“The philosophy behind the state witness procedure is to give immunity to one of the conspirators in order that not all shall escape, particularly the mastermind,” Santiago said.
The lady senator also said the testimony of Napoles is significant since she has knowledge of the entire crime and her statements may be used to verify some findings.
Santiago said Napoles will be required to file a sworn statement as a proposed state witness if she will be discharged.
She also encourages Napoles to file a petition in court to perpetuate her testimony because her life “is in danger.”
“She must file such a petition, because her life is in danger as a potential state witness. In her petition, Napoles must give the facts which she desires to establish by her proposed testimony, and the reasons for desiring to perpetuate it. Napoles will have to name the adverse parties, such as Senators Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla so that their lawyers can be present during her deposition,” Santiago said.
Santiago assured that the Sandigan will grant the petition for perpetuation of testimony to prevent failure of justice.
Santiago, in a recent televised hearing attended by Napoles, insinuated that Enrile was the real pork barrel scam mastermind. (GMA News)