Senate to seek court OK for Napoles testimony
MANILA - Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, vice chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, said the Senate will seek the permission of the court to allow businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to appear and testify in the ongoing investigation on the pork barrel scam.
Osmeña said the court has custody over Napoles who remains detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in connection with the serious illegal detention case filed by pork barrel scam whistle blower Benhur Luy.
"We will send a letter to the court, asking its permission to let Napoles appear. We can't subpoena the court," he said.
"The subpoena will be addressed to Napoles under 'pain of contempt," he added.
The letter, Osmeña said, will be delivered to the court by the Office of the Sergeant-Arms.
Osmeña said the Senate is open to conduct a hearing in either Napoles' detention facility or any other secure place like Camp Crame in Quezon City if the court would raise concerns over her security.
"Yes we can hold a hearing inside there, inside Crame or in a more secured place if security is the concern of the court," he said.
While Osmeña does not see any reason for the court to prevent Napoles from appearing in the Blue Ribbon Committee probe, he admitted that the court technically can disallow Napoles from attending the Blue Ribbon committee hearing.
"I don't see any reason for the court to prevent her from appearing. The court has the power over her. In my understanding, the court has custody and the court can find a reason… it may endanger her life, but they have to give a good reason. And in which case, if that happens, we will conduct it (hearing) in her detention quarters," explained the senator.
In the event the court disallows Napoles from appearing in the Senate investigation, Osmeña said they may bring the matter up to the a higher court.
"But the court will have to find a good reason otherwise we can bring it to a higher court," he said.