Does DOJ have the goods vs. lawmakers?-A A +A
Thursday, September 12, 2013
WHISTLEBLOWERS have included a few senators and House members in their recommendation to the Justice Department as to who'll be charged with Janet Lim-Napoles.
Detained for serious illegal detention, Napoles still has to be indicted on pork barrel fraud.
As to legislators who, President Aquino said, will be sued with her Friday or Monday, DOJ and PNoy apparently recognize that the issue has a strong impact on his record in the fight against corruption.
Legislators are not sacred cows but the state is in a bind. If the culprits walk because of weak evidence, that will hurt PNoy as the public is convinced the fraud was committed. His advocacy against corruption won't be a legacy he could proudly leave.
With protests and public anger mounting, PNoy must see the need for speedy prosecution and inclusion of all culprits, yet he must be cautious about filing charges the state can't prove.
Won't go away
Already, PNoy is suspected of setting off the Nur Misuari uprising in Zamboanga and prompting his sister Kris's LRT ride. Silly, because the scandal is not something Nur or Kris could blow away.
There must be compelling evidence or it would look like a witch-hunt or a p.r. move to appease Edsa and Fuente protesters.
The state must prove collusion. Besides the approval of the grant to a fake NGO, there must be showing the lawmaker knew where the money would go or he got a cut from the proceeds of the swindle.
Suspicion over Facebook photos and guilt by association won’t be enough.
[Editor's Note: Sun.Star earlier published this column of Mr. Seares with a wrong title. We would like to apologize for the error.]
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 13, 2013.