Get a good lawyer, Ombudsman tells 'pork scam' players
MANILA - "Get a good lawyer if you want to sleep soundly at night."
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has this piece of advice to everyone involved in the pork barrel scam.
For a little over a month now, the Office of the Ombudsman has been quietly investigating the alleged massive corruption in the pork barrel of senators and congressmen.
While the take-off is businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who is in the center of the controversy, Carpio-Morales said the investigation will include government officials.
"We'll concentrate on Janet Napoles. But Janet Napoles necessarily involves Congress members. Because if the stories we read from papers are to be believed, then it was through these congressmen or senators that the PDAF was misused," she said.
Amid concerns and criticisms that initial accusations appeared to target opposition figures and administration critics, Carpio-Morales said her investigation will cover all those involved regardless of political affiliation.
"I don't know why people can be so unkind. They say I'm a lapdog of Malacañang. I filed a case against Grace Padaca, I filed a case against Nereus Acosta."
This early, the former Supreme Court justice has a piece of advice for everyone involved in the pork barrel scam.
"Whoever are those involved in the PDAF controversy, they should start coming up with their defense because we will surely file a case if we find that probable cause exists. They should start coming up with their defense now. They should engage good lawyers if they want to be safe, to have a safe and sound sleep," she said.
Carpio-Morales said among the possible charges faced by those involved in the misuse and abuse of the congressional pork barrel are malversation and falsification.
She added it is premature to say if they could also be liable for plunder which is non-bailable and punishable by life imprisonment.