Senate may grant immunity to Napoles - Osmeña | Inquirer News

Senate may grant immunity to Napoles – Osmeña

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:41 PM October 23, 2013

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate  may  opt to grant  Janet  Lim-Napoles  immunity  from prosecution  to convince her to speak  about the P10-billion “pork  barrel” scam that she allegedly masterminded,  Senator Sergio Osmeña III said on  Wednesday.

“I want her to identify all the congressmen and senators that she has been bribing,” Osmeña, vice chairman of the Senate  blue ribbon committee investigating the scam, said when asked  what he would like to hear from Napoles when she appears and testifies on November 7.


But he doubts if Napoles would answer the question unless the Senate grants her immunity from prosecution by making her a state witness.


“We have the authority to grant immunity. We have done that in the past,” the senator said.

Asked if granting immunity to Napoles would be an option of the Senate to get her talk about the scam, Osmeña said: “Yes, immunity will always be an option.”

But asked again if he thinks his colleagues would agree to it considering the public outrage over the alleged misuse of public funds, the senator said: “You know that’s a 64-dollar question. I can’t read their minds.  I’m hopeful they will insist on finding what the truth is and (if) we will get at the greater truth by having Napoles testify, so be it.”

While Napoles was said to be the “mastermind” of the scam, Osmeña believes that a government official involved   has  “heavier responsibility since he took an oath  to serve the Filipino people.”

“I mean, if I am accused, to me I have a heavier responsibility to prove my innocence because I’m supposed to be above suspicion, I’m not supposed to be fooling around,”  he pointed out.

At least three senators –   Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr have been implicated in the “pork” scam and charged with plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly funnelling their Priority Development Assistance Fund or “pork barrel” funds to fake non-government organizations allegedly linked to Napoles.


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