SC bucks Napoles nephew’s plea to junk plunder raps
The Supreme Court has upheld the Office of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause for plunder and graft charges against a nephew and staff of suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In an eight-page resolution dated Nov. 6 and released on Friday, the high court dismissed the petition of Ronald John Lim assailing the Ombudsman’s 2014 resolution that recommended the filing of plunder and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against him, his aunt, and several others.
Case vs. Cambe
The court said Lim “miserably failed” to show that the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion.
Lim’s arguments, the court said, already addressed an earlier case decided in 2016 that was filed by another accused, Richard Cambe, chief of staff of former Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.
“We are inclined to do no less in the present case. We recognize that the acts in [the] Cambe [case], which related to the illegal pillaging of public funds sourced from the [Priority Development Assistance Fund] of then Sen. Revilla, occurred within the same timeline as the acts in the present case,” the court said.
In the Cambe case, the high tribunal held that, “as correctly pointed” out by the Ombudsman, whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas had narrated that Lim was among the staff of Napoles who prepared and delivered the kickbacks intended for Revilla.
Noting Lim’s failure to file a counteraffidavit before the Ombudsman, the court held that it was proper for the Ombudsman to consider his nonfiling as a waiver of his right to file one.
It added that the allegations against Lim remained “uncontroverted.” —JEROME ANING
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