Palace mum on subpoena for Napoles, whistleblowers
Says would rather focus on prosecution
MANILA -- Malacañang won't weigh in on whether Janet Lim Napoles and other whistleblowers should be allowed to testify in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the pork barrel scam.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Palace is leaving the interpretation on the law to the institutions concerned: the Senate and the Ombudsman.
He added that the Palace would rather be focused on building up evidence and prosecuting the case.
"We have already said that this is a question of legal interpretation. This is an issue...within the Senate and the interpretation of the Ombudsman and the Senate. Ang habol lang ho natin dito at ang habol ng buong sambayanan ay 'yung prosecution, 'di ba? People have been angry over the PDAF scam," Lacierda said.
"Are we happy with just a Blue Ribbon Committee investigation? It's good that it will have one. But is that the end-all and be-all of all this revelation? Will that revelation bring us to something closer to criminal prosecution? Secretary Leila de Lima deferred to the wisdom of the Ombudsman primarily because Secretary Leila de Lima, as a prosecutor, wants criminal prosecution to be pursued with full force and vigor."
"Now, we have stated we have no position there. It's a question of interpretation of both agencies, of two agencies, so we'll leave it at... We'll leave it. If [there's] anybody [who] would like to question before the Supreme Court then we will wait for that decision. In the meantime, nandoon na po 'yan so we don't want to be drawn into a question of preference. What we're after, let me emphasize, what the Palace is after is criminal prosecution because, at the end of the day, someone must be held accountable," Lacierda added.