Senate wants Napoles to face committee probe
MANILA, Philippines—The Senate blue ribbon committee will ask authorities to allow Janet Lim-Napoles, who is detained for serious illegal detention, to testify into the alleged P10- billion “pork barrel” scam, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said on Tuesday.
Escudero, who initiated the investigation in the Senate, said he reiterated Monday with Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the committee, his desire to invite Napoles in the hearing.
“I told him my desire to invite Napoles, and let the court reject our request but at least the Senate should try to invite her here,” he told reporters.
“They said they will make representations with the court but I think the invitation will be sent to the PNP and the PNP which has her custody will ask the permission of the court to bring her here,” he said.
Escudero said Napoles, who allegedly masterminded the pork scam, has no choice but to appear in the Senate if the court itself will order her to do so.
Napoles, he said, may invoke her right to remain silent but only to some questions that would implicate her.
Despite the charges filed against Napoles and other personalities involved in the scam, Escudero said the Senate should continue with its own investigation, saying it was the only venue where people can watch and listen to the pork scam investigation.
He said the filing of charges in court should not prevent the Senate from pursuing its own probe, citing previous inquiries done by the chamber even after cases were filed in court like in the case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia.