What to expect from Napoles' appearance in Senate
MANILA -- What should the people expect from the appearance of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee?
"Impormasyon. Maraming impormasyon ang posibleng lalabas sa ganyang pagdinig sa Senado na hindi mo pwedeng mapiga sa korte sapagkat mas masinop at mas strikto ang mga pagtatanong sa loob ng isang hukuman," said sociologist and political analyst Randy David.
In an interview with radio dzMM on Thursday, David said people are eager to find out what Napoles might say about the whole pork barrel scam.
He reminded the public, however, that the objective of the Senate proceedings is only to inquire in aid of legislation and not to determine culpability in the pork barrel scam.
"Ang objective ng hearing na ganito ay hindi upang malaman kung sino ang may sala o sino ang dapat i-charge kundi...paanong nangyari na ang pondo ng bayan na pinagkatiwala sa ahensya ng gobyerno at sa kamay ng mga lawmakers ay hindi napunta sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno kundi ay naibulsa," he said.
The Office of the Ombudsman is currently conducting a probe on the pork barrel allegations after the Department of Justice filed plunder and graft complaints against Napoles and several lawmakers.
'I understand Drilon'
Meanwhile, David said he understands why Senate President Franklin Drilon initially had reservations in issuing a subpoena to Napoles for her to testify in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
He also believes Drilon's decision to first seek the opinion of the Ombudsman, where graft and plunder complaints are pending against Napoles and other co-accused, did not in any way compromise the autonomy of the Senate.
"Ito ay hindi dahil necessarily may tinatago o may pinipigil na impormasyon na maaaring maisiwalat ni Napoles kundi dahil din iba kasi ang tungkulin ng mga political bodies na katulad ng Senado," he explained.
He also noted the risk of having trial by publicity against Napoles, who is now detained in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for an illegal detention case filed against her by key whistleblower Benhur Luy.
"Kasi kung minsan anything goes sa mga hearing na ganyan eh," he said.
Nonetheless, David believes Napoles' lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, will be able to protect her client to avoid having trial by publicity.
Kapunan has said Napoles will likely be invoking her right against self incrimination when she appears before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.
Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said the panel might summon Napoles next week.