Senate mulls holding Napoles hearing in detention facility
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate may hold a hearing inside Janet Lim-Napoles’ detention center in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna or any secured place like Camp Crame in Quezon City if the court would deny the subpoena to be issued to her by the chamber, Senator Serge Osmeña said on Thursday.
But Osmeña, vice chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the P10 billion “pork barrel” scam, saw no reason why the court would prevent Napoles from appearing and testifying at the Senate.
“I don’t see the court has any reason to prevent her from appearing,” he told reporters.
Napoles has been detained in Laguna for serious illegal detention against her cousin and whistleblower Benhur Luy.
A plunder complaint was also filed against Napoles and other respondents at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the “pork” scam.
And while the court has custody, Osmeña said it has to have a good reason why Napoles should not be allowed to attend the Senate investigation.
“I think the court technically can disallow. But the court will have to find a good reason otherwise we can bring it to a higher court…” he said.
Another option, Osmeña said, was that the Senate may just opt to hold a hearing inside Napoles’ jail to get her testimony.
“Yes we can hold a hearing inside there. We can hold a hearing inside Crame or in a more secured place kung security ang concern ng court,” he said.
On Wednesday, Senate President Franklin Drilon announced his decision to sign the subpoena for Napoles.
Osmeña said the subpoena would be addressed to Napoles but the chamber would also have to ask the permission of the court.