Ombudsman vows to block Napoles from being a state witness
UNTV News • May 17, 2017 • 2970
MANILA — “I already stated that we don’t find her to be a candidate for a state witness. We will have the last say on whether or not we will recommend her to be a state witness.”
This has been the reaction of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales regarding the plan of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make Janet Lim Napoles a state witness.
The Ombudsman assures that the prosecution will block any attempt to make her a state witness in the plunder and graft charges filed against those involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, also called the pork barrel scam.
Morales insists that Napoles remains the primary accused in the cases involving the anomalous use of the lawmakers’ PDAF.
“I’m not bothered at all. We are confident of opposition, so whatever they say let them say it. We are not bothered. We are not concerned at all by whatever they say about whether or not there is a pending agreement or modus vendee between Napoles and the DOJ,” she said.
The Ombudsman is confident that their investigation is sufficient and that it cannot be obliged to follow the findings of the DOJ.
“It’s up to them if they wish to reinvestigate but as I said we are not bound by any findings over cases over which the Ombudsman has the final authority to determine whether or not there is probable cause.”
Morales is unfazed by DOJ’s plan to reinvestigate the PDAF scam.
“I’m not bothered at all we are confident of opposition, so whatever they say let them say it.”
Meanwhile, Morales has confirmed that former budget secretary, Butch Abad, is one of the individuals being probed in connection with the said scandal.
It can be recalled that Napoles initially pointed at Abad as the one who taught her how to create fake non-government organizations where lawmakers could allocate their PDAF.
Aguirre notes that a citizen has the right to do what he thinks is right as long as it is in accordance with the law, but because DOJ has the authority to accept a person under the witness protection program, it will do whatever is necessary.
” — JOAN NANO / UNTV News & Rescue
WATCH: Several lawmakers might go to jail once Janet Napoles speaks – Sen. Lacson
MANILA, Philippines – Former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and detained Senator Leila de Lima have broken their silence amid reports linking them to the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
Roxas and De Lima were among those who drafted the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
The Office of the Ombudsman has requested Roxas and De Lima to explain why the provisions concerning convicts of heinous crimes in relation to the GCTA privilege was not clarified in the IRR.
But the former Interior chief maintained that the IRR shouldn’t be blamed just because the law wasn’t properly implemented.
In a tweet, Roxas stressed that those who approved the convicts’ release order should face the questioning, not those who drafted the IRR.
He accused his critics of passing the buck because of the controversial law.
Nevertheless, Roxas vowed to appear and cooperate in the Ombudsman’s probe.
“Apparently iimbestigahan ng Ombudsman itong (The Ombudsman will probe this) GCTA issue. Well and good, at masasagot ko kung ano man ang mga tanong nila (I will have the chance to answer their questions),” Roxas tweeted.
Meanwhile, De Lima expressed doubts over the intention behind the linking of her name to the GCTA issue when she has nothing to do with the controversy.
“I find this development highly irregular,” the lady senator said in a statement.
De Lima emphasized that the focus of the probe should be on whether or not the officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) followed the rules and reviewed the cases using the proper guidelines of releasing a convict under GCTA.
Roxas and De Lima were given three days to respond to the request of the Ombudsman.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman has launched a fact-finding investigation to determine the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the GCTA law. — MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday said she finds the request of the Office of the Ombudsman to explain the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 10592, which increased the good conduct time allowance given to inmates, as “highly irregular.”
In a statement, De Lima confirmed she has received the letter of the Ombudsman directing her to explain or clarify in writing the IRR of the GCTA law.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires earlier wrote a letter, a copy of which was released to the media, requesting De Lima and Mar Roxas to explain the implementing rules they drafted for RA 10592.
De Lima was the Justice Secretary while Roxas was the Interior and Local Government chief when the law was enacted in 2013.
Martires wanted De Lima and Roxas to explain why the IRR they drafted only disqualifies from benefitting from the law those who are recidivists, who have been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime and those who failed to surrender before a court after being summoned.
The Republic Act 10592, which expanded the GCTA stated in the Revised Penal Code, excludes recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes from its coverage.
“In this regard, this (Ombudsman) Office requests the submission, within three days from receipt hereof, of a written explanation/clarification on why the foregoing provision in the IRR does not contain the same disqualifications as enumerated in the last paragraph of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 1 of R.A. 10592,” the letter read.
But De Lima noted the opening of the letter, which says the Office of the Ombudsman has “opened a fact-finding investigation on alleged irregularities in the implementation of the GCTA law.”
“Am I to be treated here as a resource person, a respondent, or a probable respondent?” she asked.
“Is this a set-up for me and Sec. Mar into taking the fall for the Sanchez-Faeldon scandal with which we have nothing to do?” she added.
De Lima said she finds this development “highly irregular,” and that she will have to consult her lawyers on the matter.
The senator was referring to earlier reports that convicted rapist-murderer, ex-Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez could be among the 11,000 convicts eligible for early release due to the new GCTA rule.
The news sparked public outrage and led to Sanchez’s aborted release, President Rodrigo Duterte’s dismissal of Nicanor Faeldon as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief and the Ombudsman’s order to suspend several BuCor officials linked to the questionable application of the GCTA law.
A series of Senate hearing on the issue also revealed the purported ‘GCTA for sale’ and ‘hospital pass for sale’ at the national penitentiary.
The said schemes allegedly involving several BuCor executives purportedly allow moneyed inmates to get hospital referrals and other prison benefits on the basis of tampered medical record that would make it appear that they need to be transferred to less congested facilities for health reasons.
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has requested detained Senator Leila de Lima and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to explain or clarify in writing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that they drafted for the law which increased good conduct time allowance (GCTA) given to inmates.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires noted in his letter dated Sept. 6 that the Republic Act 10592 which expanded the GCTA excludes recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes from its coverage.
Martires wants De Lima and Roxas to explain why the IRR they drafted only disqualifies the following from benefiting from the law:
an accused who is recidivist, as defined under Article 14 (9), Chapter III, Book 1 of the Revised Penal Code;
an accused who has been convicted previously twice or more than times of any crime; and
an accused who, upon being summoned for the execution of his sentence, has failed to surrender voluntarily before a court of law.
The Ombudsman requested De Lima and Roxas to submit a written explanation or clarification within three days on “why the foregoing provision in the IRR does not contain the same disqualifications as enumerated in the last paragraph of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code.”
Earlier, Martires ordered the suspension of 27 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials over the release of nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts for good conduct credits. Said officers will be suspended for six months without pay for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
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