Napoles asks Ombudsman to reconsider immunity plea

Posted at 06/09/14 4:37 PM

MANILA - The camp of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles is set to ask the Office of the Ombudsman to reconsider its decision denying her request for immunity.

Bruce Rivera, Napoles' counsel, told reporters at the Department of Justice that the motion for reconsideration will be filed anytime soon, but the priority for them now is to file a motion for judicial determination of probable cause with the Sandiganbayan once the plunder cases filed with the anti-graft court are already raffled.

Rivera met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday to explain statements he issued to the media recently.

He said that contrary to reports, Napoles is still willing to cooperate with government and share documents in her possession in connection with the pork barrel scam, despite the Ombudsman's denial of her immunity plea.

In junking her plea, the Ombudsman ruled that she does not satisfy the requirements of a state witness since she "appears to be one of the most guilty."

Whistle-blowers and witnesses led by Benhur Luy claimed Napoles put up bogus NGOs to use as a tool in siphoning billions of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.

The whistle-blowers claimed that projects identified for the PDAF of lawmakers turned out bogus or under-budgeted.

A special audit by the Commission on Audit supported the whistleblowers' claims.