OsmeĆ±a wants Napoles Senate appearance moved to November 18-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
SENATORS are divided on whether or not to proceed with the scheduled Senate testimony of Janet Lim Napoles, alleged mastermind in the pork barrel scam.
In a statement on Sunday, Senator Serge OsmeĆ±a urged Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, to defer the Napoles hearing to November 18.
OsmeĆ±a explained that majority of the senators are out of town and will not be able to attend the November 7 (Thursday) hearing.
"I am requesting Senator TG Guingona to move the November 7 hearing to November 18, the day that Congress resumes. I am concerned that more than half the members of the Senate will be out of town since Congress is still on break," OsmeĆ±a said.
He added that senators must have the opportunity to propound questions to Napoles. "The credibility of the Senate would be enhanced by more openness and greater transparency," Osmena said.
Senator Francis Escudero, for his part, said it is better for the Senate to pursue the scheduled hearing so as not to create confusion.
Escudero said the fact that the court has already allowed Napoles to attend, it is just proper that Senate push through with the schedule.
"Wala naman po sigurong masama kung ulitin ito sakaling nais ng mga ibang senador na makapagtanong lalo pa yung mga wala dito sa kasalukuyan dahil sa mga nauna ng commitment." Escudero said in a radio interview.
Escudero said another hearing is not bad at all and those absent senators will have the opportunity to ask question in the next hearing.
The Senate Blue Ribbon committee has summoned Napoles to attend a hearing on November 7 at 10 a.m. to respond to testimonies made before the committee that she masterminded the so-called multi-billion peso pork barrek scam that supposedly involved a number of lawmakers both from the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Former employees of Napoles have testified that the businesswoman was allegedly behind the grand scheme that involved the funneling of billions of pesos worth of priority development assistance funds of senators and congressmen into the accounts of alleged fake non-government organizations (NGOs), all purportedly set-up by Napoles and her minions. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)