Editorial: Justice and the truth-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
IT'S like blowing on a plate full of sand.
When fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles, P10-million reward on her head and all, surrendered to President Noynoy Aquino Wednesday night, some sectors especially in the social media immediately whipped up speculations like they were better at doing this than the aging Madam Auring.
Among those that swirled is this one: Napoles will turn state witness and she won’t implicate in the “P10 billion” pork barrel scam PNoy minions in Congress. The insinuation is that a deal with Malacañang was hatched in exchange for Napoles’s surrender.
First on the “state witness” claim, which apparently was brought about by Interior and Local government Secretary Mar Roxas “not closing the door” on that possibility. Lawyers have weighed in on the legal issues such a “deal” has to hurdle. Also, the court will have the last say on that.
As for PNoy allies in Congress getting preferential treatment once Napoles turns state witness, that still remains to be seen. Meaning that it’s still a lot of hot air for now.
But having said that, consider what will happen if Napoles turns state witness and bares everything during the trial. Wouldn’t the entire pork barrel scam be blown wide open and erring legislators truly exposed?
Note what Levito Baligod, lawyer of pork barrel scam whistle blower Benhur Luy told reporters. "(M)eron ho kasing libro na hawak si Ginang Napoles na kung saan, nandoon iyung mga transaksiyon o mga napagkasunduan niya na sistema o sharing scheme with legislators," he said.
He added: "Mayroon pong hawak si Ginang Napoles, halimbawa, iyung cash vouchers po. Nandoon iyung mga pirma ng mga legislators. Meron din pirma iyung mga chiefs of staff o representatives ng mga legislators na tumanggap ng pera mula kay Ginang Napoles."
Without Napoles’s testimony, the length and breadth of the scam will never known and it’s even possible some erring lawmakers won’t be made to account for their plunder of public coffers. As it is, Luy and the other whistle-blowers could not present as yet proof of their claims.
What we have there is an interesting conflict between the demands of justice and the demands of truth. Government and the public will have to decide which of the two should be given preference.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2013.