Press Release
September 28, 2013

Drilon seeks anew Ombudsman's recommendation
on Napoles appearance before the Blue Ribbon hearing

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has sought anew the opinion of the Office of the Ombudsman on the appeal of Sen. Teofisto Guingona III to reconsider the decision not to summon Janet Lim-Napoles to the televised Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the pork barrel scam.

"May we respectfully refer to your office for comments the attached letter of Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, seeking the reconsideration of our earlier 'decision not to approve a subpoena to Janet Lim-Napoles' for her to appear before the Senate Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon Committee)," said Drilon in a letter to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last Thursday afternoon.

"Please be informed that we have deferred any action on the aforementioned request on account of your advice in your letter dated 23 September 2013, wherein you expressed the opinion that compelling Mrs. Napoles to testify before the Committee, at this time, would not be advisable," he said.

Drilon maintained that the opinion of the Ombudsman on the question whether Napoles should appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee must not be underestimated and neglected.

"We consider it a matter of prime importance that we should allow the Ombudsman to complete its initial fact-finding evaluation of the plunder case filed before it in connection with the pork barrel scam," stressed Drilon.

Drilon reiterated: "What is at stake here is the ability of the Office of the Ombudsman to prosecute the PDAF misuse cases against the Napoles with dispatch and without delay. This is the principal goal of our justice system."

Drilon earlier said that "prudence and caution" guided his decision not to sign a subpoena to Napoles.

"It was out of prudence and caution that I decided to defer to the advice and recommendation of Ombudsman Morales not to require, at this time, Napoles appearance before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee," said Drilon.

"While my decision appears unpopular to media and a public eager to see Napoles grilled by the Blue Ribbon Committee, I have decided on the side of caution. I would rather err on the side of prudence," he said.

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