Santiago: De Lima should not worry non-confirmation-A A +A
Friday, August 16, 2013
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima should not worry about the possibility of non-confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA) if the government's investigation into the P10-billion pork barrel scam will actually lead to the filing of cases against lawmakers for fund misuse.
She will be re-appointed anyway if the CA snubs her nomination, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said on Friday.
This power was exercised by previous leaders, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who had to re-appoint the late Angelo Reyes in some Cabinet positions several times after failing to clinch CA nod.
The CA was also hesitant to limit re-appointments as this will undermine the President's appointive power.
But De Lima's duty to prosecute erring officials and ordinary citizens could come at a price.
"Will the Justice secretary be subjected to a regime of black propaganda so pervasive that in effect it will destroy her chances of any further appointment or election to public office?," said Santiago in a speech before a convention of the Philippine Academy for Rehabilitation Medicine in Mandaluyong City.
"Will certain persons in interest be able to penetrate the witness protection program and gain access to the eyewitnesses who have executed affidavits, and browbeat and bribe them to retract? Will prosecutors be shot down in cold blood under some creative fiction invented by imaginative reporters?" she added.
De Lima earlier promised to file cases against unidentified lawmakers few weeks from now. Read the related story: "DOJ to file charges vs lawmakers in ‘pork barrel’ scam."
Five senators and 23 congressmen were reported to have benefited from the scam allegedly ran by Janet Lim-Napoles of trading company JLN Corp., which used dummy non-government organizations as beneficiaries through forgery, falsification and bribery.
Authorities are currently running after Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim for allegedly detaining whistleblower Benhur Luy for three months because of his knowledge on the businesswoman’s supposed illicit transactions with government. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)