JV: Please, no 'wheelchair defense' for Napoles
MANILA - Two weeks before her scheduled appearance before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles was rushed to hospital early Thursday due to stomach ache, nausea and severe vomiting.
Doctors later said Napoles was suffering from ureteral stones.
Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito said it is possible that Napoles' medical condition might stop the alleged pork scam mastermind from testifying before the Senate.
"Wag naman po sana. Parang naging madalas ng nagiging excuse yung medical condition pag nagkakaroon ng ganitong pagdinig. Parang naka-ready na naka-wheelchair na mag-a-appear. Wag naman sana para matapos na itong kontrobersiyang ito," he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
Napoles is accused of setting up fake non-government organizations that received billions of pesos in lawmakers' priority development assistance funds. Three senators - Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile - along with several individuals have been charged with plunder, graft, bribery and malversation raps before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged links to the scam.
In the interview, Ejercito said it is imperative for Napoles to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and name her co-conspirators in the scam.
He said he hopes Napoles will not invoke her right against self-incrimination when she appears before the Upper Chamber.
"During the time of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the First Gentleman was always using that privilege. I hope Janet Lim Napoles does not use it so we can introduce legislation that will make sure the same crime does not happen again," he said.
He also said Napoles has nothing to fear when she faces the Senate because she will be given ample protection by the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice.
Napoles is scheduled to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on November 7.
Ejercito said Senate President Franklin Drilon was forced to sign the subpoena for Napoles because of public clamor.
"Naramdaman niya na karamihan sa senador ay pabor na mabigyan siya ng subpeona para makaharap sa Blue Ribbon Committee hearing," he said.