Press Release
October 1, 2013

Drilon to seek senators' decision on Napoles appearance
in the Senate investigation

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said today that the matter concerning the appearance and testimony of Janet Lim Napoles before the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will be discussed in caucus when Senate resumes session on October 14.

"In view of the response of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, I will submit the issue whether to issue a subpoena to Napoles to the decision and judgment of the senators," said Drilon.

Drilon on Thursday referred to Morales the appeal of Sen. Teofisto Guingona III to reconsider earlier decision not to summon Napoles to the televised Senate probe.

On Monday, Morales in response maintained her earlier advice not to allow "at this time" Napoles to testify in the Senate.

"I am not inclined to modify said comment," Morales said in a letter dated Friday. The said letter was received by the Office of the Senate President yesterday.

She added: "That the Senate is supreme in its own sphere was never meant to be challenged. I thus submit to the collective wisdom of its members."

Drilon said he hopes that his colleagues do realize the implication if Napoles appears in the Senate before the Ombudsman could finish its initial and fact-finding evaluation of the plunder case filed before it in connection with P10-billion pork mess.

"I am confident that majority of the senators understand and will support my decision not to issue a subpoena to Napoles 'at this time' in deference to the recommendation of the Ombudsman which is now investigating the case," he said.

"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," said 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.

"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.

The Congress is in on a session break until October 13.

News Latest News Feed