Drilon yet to sign subpoena for Napoles-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
CONTRARY to reports, Senate President Franklin Drilon has yet to sign the subpoena compelling businesswoman Janet Napoles to explain before senators her participation in the alleged corruption of priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
“I haven’t signed it (subpoena) because I was with the President who left for South Korea at 7:30 a.m. last Thursday. I will immediately sign it on Monday,” Drilon said in a radio interview Sunday.
Drilon was part of President Benigno Aquino III’s delegation which held talks and signed agreements with the government of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
The Senate leader earlier refused to sign the subpoena for Napoles, citing an opinion of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales that the hearing may adversely affect her office’s preliminary investigation into the plunder cases in connection with the scam.
He changed his position last week, lambasting accusations that he was not in favor of uncovering the truth behind the scam involving colleagues in the Senate.
Drilon said they will ask the Makati court’s permission to allow Napoles to attend the Senate hearing. Napoles is currently detained in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for alleged serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
“Even if the subpoena is directly issued to Napoles, the PNP (Philippine National Police), who has physical custody of Napoles, would still have to secure the permission of the court as the PNP is holding Napoles not on its own but by virtue of the order of the court,” Drilon told radio dzBB.
Some senators had said the court could not block Napoles’ appearance as courtesy to the investigative power of the Senate, a co-equal branch of government.
Still, Senator Sergio Osmeña III proposed Fort Sto. Domingo or Camp Crame in Quezon City as alternate venue in case the court declines the request due to security reasons.
“I don’t think it’s an enough reason (security concern) to stop the subpoena for Napoles,” said Drilon.
The Senate Blue Ribbon committee, which looks into the scam, will only announce the schedule of the hearing after the subpoena will be forwarded to the court on Monday. (Sunnex)