Press Release
May 9, 2017

Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Janet Napoles' acquittal
Dispatch from Crame No. 80


The acquittal of Janet Lim Napoles is a disturbing development but not so much because of the fact that it was pushed for by Malacañang in the pursuit of its mutant kind of "justice". We already expected this, by now all too familiar habit of the Duterte regime to enter into exchange deals with convicted criminals, where the lowliest scums are used to frame up political enemies. I know this. I am the first victim of this despicable practice.

What worries me more is the possibility of the judiciary succumbing to Malacañang pressures. The day an independent judiciary ceases to act using only the scale of justice and instead allows itself to be dictated upon by the executive is the day we official become a dictatorship. The moment justices of the courts succumb to Malacañang pressures, we also lose the remaining bulwark of our democracy.

My appeal to the courts, the judges and justices is not to allow themselves to be bullied by the President into issuing unjust judgments. Like any bully, this one will have his just desserts. And when that time comes, all his collaborators, whether from the legislative, executive or judiciary, will be remembered by their names.

Our justices are called "Justice" for a reason. They are expected to give justice, especially when there is so much injustice around us. They are not prostitutes to be disrobed inside the bedrooms of Malacañang.

The possibility that Napoles in turn will be used against me for my supposed selective prosecution of PDAF Scam legislators was, I was told, implied today in an interview of Napoles' lawyer.

Let me be clear about this. No.1, Napoles was not made a State witness in the PDAF Scam cases because she was the MOST GUILTY. No.2, when we asked her to identify legislators, she asked us instead who among the Senators and Congressmen we wanted included in her PDAF list of clients. That is when I knew that Napoles cannot be relied upon and is only too willing to fabricate her own testimony to save her skin at the expense of innocent Senators and Congressmen. Her extended list of PDAF Scam legislators turned out to be a product of her imagination, without any documented evidence or credible and verifiable accounts of the transactions to support the same. What we found as credible and reliable are the testimonies, with supporting documents, of Benhur Luy and the other whistleblowers. Hence, the successful indictment thus far of certain lawmakers, based on such evidence.

In his desire for the absolute acquiescence of all politicians it is not remote that Duterte will use Napoles to blackmail and threaten any remaining opposition in Congress.

This whole Mafiosi scheme is as shameless as it is destructive of our political system. It is vintage Duterte.

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