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Commentary
November 27, 2013

State Witness or Most Guilty?

Should Janet Lim-Napoles be made a state witness?

We have heard Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago repeatedly say that Janet Lim-Napoles should be because there seems to be a different person who acted as a mastermind in the perpetration of the Pork Barrel Scam.

justice

REACTION

I had the opportunity to interview Atty. Levito Baligod, whistleblower Benhur Luy’s legal counsel, on DWIZ 882khz

He said that they do not talk about these things. They don’t need her testimony any to prove the allegations against the legislators who worked with her to steal the country’s money.

JURISPRUDENCE

We have also repeatedly heard that the state witness should be the least guilty. However, to qualify, the accused must first admit his guilt.

ATTY. BALIGOD: Yung requirement po ng batas ay dapat hindi siya ang most guilty. Nakikita po kasi natin na si Mrs. Napoles ay isa sa most guilty. Ang nakikita ko po ay tatlo ang partido na mayroong indispensable cooperation para magawa ang pagnanakaw ng pera ng bayan.

(The law requires that she not be the most guilty. But we are seeing that she is one of the most guilty. I see that there are three parties working with indispensable cooperation to steal from the people.)

LINKED

Those who are said to be the most guilty are: (1) the legislator; (2) Mrs. Napoles; and (3) the implementing agencies. If one of these three did not fulfill what was needed of them, then no scam would have been carried out.

For example, if a legislator did not release his PDAF to a Napoles NGO then the scam would not be started.

INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION

If Mrs. Napoles had not been there, no NGO would have been available for use. If the implementing agency had not cooperated, then the scam wouldn’t have been completed.

ATTY. BALIGOD: Principal by indispensable cooperation. Ang tatlo na iyan ay principal by indispensable cooperation, so si Ginang Napoles ay isa sa most guilty. Pero kung may maipapakita silang ebidensiya para ma-meet nila ang requirement ng batas ay hindi po kami kokontra.

(Principal by indispensable cooperation. All these three parties are connected by this so Mrs. Napoles is one of the most guilty. But if they can show us evidence that will meet the requirements of law, we will not object.)

MASTERMIND?

The talk of turning Napoles into a state witness started when Senator Miriam said that there must be a different mastermind.

ATTY. BALIGOD:  Eh hindi naman po maaring si Sen. Enrile ang utak ng kabuuang P10 billion scam na iyan dahil wala naman siyang control sa PDAF ng ibang legislator.

(Sen. Enrile cannot possibly the mastermind of the entire P10 billion scam because he has no control over the PDAF of other legislators.)

DETERMINED

The Ombudsman has not allowed clippings that are dilatory in nature. She does not take motions for appeal or to dismiss for particulars.

The Office of the Ombudsman seems decided to not let anything delay their proceedings. They aim to finish their case by the first quarter of next year.

DOUBLE PROGRAM

Meanwhile, as I write (November 27) this column, many are awaiting the privilege speech of Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

The center of this speech is the report of Philippine Daily Inquirer that he is the one whom the Ombudsman is referring to as the mastermind of the Pork Barrel Scam. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has denied this.

The Ombudsman is also believed to be ready to file its second batch of cases against legislators involved in the Pork Barrel Scam.

In the world of cinema, this is called a Double Program.

WATCH OUT FOR IT!

Photo credit: UAA Justice Center for Students

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