Senator: Senate may grant immunity to Napoles-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
SENATORS may decide to grant Janet Napoles, alleged architect of the pork barrel scam, immunity from prosecution to convince her to reveal the names of politicians who misused their priority development assistance funds (PDAF).
"I want her to identify all the congressmen and senators that she has been bribing," said Senator Sergio Osmeña III, vice chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee investigating the pork barrel scam.
Being a state witness, a suspect or an accused may be granted immunity if she tells the committee all the necessary things that they need to know including those being considered her accomplice in a crime according to the law, he said.
"Immunity will always be an option." said Osmeña.
This legal maneuver, he said, was used in the helicopter issue that involved former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. It can be recalled that several military personnel testified on the alleged anomalous purchase of the second hand helicopters of the Philippine National Police in 2009.
Osmeña said he is interested to know the truth behind the involvement of lawmakers who allegedly connived with Napoles by funneling their PDAF to the fake non-government organization ran by the detained businesswoman.
He said that these officials have heavier responsibility "since he took an oath to serve the Filipino people."
Asked if other senators will grant immunity to Napoles, Osmeña said: "You know that's a 64-dollar question. I can't read their minds. I'm hopeful they will insist on finding what the truth is and we will get at the greater truth by having Napoles testify, so be it."
The senator said he doubts that his colleagues in the Senate will grant Napoles immunity by making her a state witness.
Three senators – Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla – and Napoles and several lawmakers are now facing plunder charges at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senator Teofisto Guingona III, Blue Ribbon committee chairman, signed the subpoena for Napoles to appear and testify before the committee on November 7. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)