Napoles can invoke right vs self-incrimination–Guingona
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate may not cite Janet Lim-Napoles in contempt when she testifies at the Senate and invokes her right against self-incrimination, Senator Teofisto Guingona III said on Tuesday.
“You can’t cite somebody in contempt for using a right kasi karapatan nya yun (because that’s her right),” Guingona, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the P10 billion “pork barrel” scam, told reporters.
“Kung karapatan nya yun, kaya nga tawag right no karapatan nya yun. So bakit mo ikukulong ang isang tao na ginagamit nya yung karapatan?”
(If that’s her right, that’s why it’s called a right, then that’s her right. So why do you detain a person who’s just using her right?”
But Guingona said the right against self-incrimination may only be invoked on questions that would really incriminate Napoles.
“Everytime you ask a question she can invoke her right but it has to be something that will incriminate her. (It’s) can’t be like what’s your name…” he said.
And while Napoles’ camp may request for an executive session, Guingona said he would not agree to it “because that’s precisely the point no, para malaman ang katotohanan, para malaman kung ano ang nangyari (to find out the truth, to find out what happened) .”
Napoles, who has been detained for serious illegal detention of her cousin and whistle-blower Benhur Luy, was summoned by the Senate to appear and testify on November 7 on the “pork barrel” scam that she allegedly masterminded.
A plunder complaint was also filed against her at the Office of the Ombudsman, along with other individuals allegedly involved in the scam.
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