Why De Lima doesn't want to present whistle-blowers
MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday said she still has reservations about the presentation of some of the pork barrel scam whistle-blowers before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.
De Lima said presenting the witnesses before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee could telegraph information previously not made public in the prosecution of cases in the pork scam.
"It concerns me greatly that the public testimony of these witnesses in the Senate today will put them and their families as well as the future of these cases at greater risk," she said.
She said most of these whistle-blowers have not exposed their faces to the public.
She said it would have been better if the whistle-blowers had just testified once the cases reach the trial stage.
The justice secretary said the testimonies could reveal the prosecution's legal strategy "as well as the identities of other people who may be charged in the future."
"Public knowledge of and access to this information gives some of those involved a chance to preempt our efforts or even worse to escape. The least that the prosecution of this case needs is a live broadcast of its strategy," she said.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman TG Guingona earlier scolded De Lima for failing to present the whistle-blowers during Tuesday's hearing on the pork scam inquiry.
He said the Senate can still investigate the scam even if cases have been filed before the Ombudsman.
At least 38 people including businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles are facing graft, plunder and malversation charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.