Palace welcomes signing of Napoles subpoena
MANILA - Malacanang welcomed the decision of Senate President Franklin Drilon to finally summon businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to a Senate investigation of the pork barrel scandal.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Drilon signed the subpoena for Napoles without consulting his colleagues.
"Let the investigation proceed with the presentation of Janet Lim Napoles," he said.
Lacierda added: "We don't know what surprises may come out."
Lacierda refused to comment when asked about reports that the Napoles camp plans to invoke her right against self-incrimination in the Senate inquiry.
He said the government has found evidence of fund misuse based on the testimonies of whistle-blowers.
"It appears to have some basis to say there has been misuse… some private individuals have profited from the misuse of [priority development assistance funds (PDAF). The idea of Blue Ribbon inquiry is in aid of legislation and submission to Ombudsman. We don't know what will happen to the investigation. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has already filed charges in relation to (Napoles)."
Drilon had initially refused to sign a subpoena for Napoles after the Ombudsman said Napoles' testimony may hinder the office's own probe of the pork barrel scam.
Drilon left with the President this morning on a state visit to South Korea.
Lacierda could not immediately say why Drilon was present in the trip. "Normally wala kaming siansamang congressional leaders," he said.
In a text message, Drilon said he joined the President because of a Korean official development assistance (ODA) project in his home province of Iloilo.