Miriam wants to take Senate 'pork' probe to Laguna
MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has proposed that the Blue Ribbon committee go to Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna and get the deposition of Janet Lim-Napoles to settle the dispute of whether to issue a subpoena for her to appear before the Senate.
“She might be killed on the way (to the Senate),” she said in Filipino in a television interview Friday.
“The anger of (Sen. Juan Ponce) Enrile and his allies could prompt them to take her out with a sniper.”
The former regional trial court judge said the deposition will ensure that whatever Napoles has to say would be available even if anything untoward happens to her.
“This way we would already have in writing what she has to say so whatever happens to her would no longer matter. She cannot be silenced anymore,” she said.
Santiago said a deposition is Napoles’ testimony given in writing outside of the Senate.
“Any adverse event could prevent Napoles from fully identifying the senators and congressmen with whom she had PDAF transactions,” she said.
“For example, any of the suspects could hire operatives to silence her, or she might inflict physical damage on herself. She might contract a life-threatening ailment. For any of these reasons, the Rules of Court allow her to give her testimony well before trial.”
In an earlier statement, Santiago said the perpetuation of testimony is the procedure for preserving for future use any testimony that might be unavailable at trial.
The procedure is part of what the Rules of Court call deposition and discovery, she added.
Blue Ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III wants a subpoena issued for Napoles to appear before the committee’s hearings.
However, Senate President Franklin Drilon is not keen on signing and issuing the subpoena.
It was “out of prudence and caution” that he decided to defer to the advice of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales that Napoles should not appear before the Blue Ribbon committee at this time, he added.
In a formal letter, Guingona told Drilon: “Caution, timing and prudence should not be used to diminish and destroy the constitutional power of the Senate to conduct investigations in aid of legislation.”