With or without lawyer, Napoles must appear in Senate—Drilon | Inquirer News

With or without lawyer, Napoles must appear in Senate—Drilon

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:14 PM November 06, 2013

Senate President Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA,  Philippines—Detained Janet Lim-Napoles may reject the legal services of the Public Attorney’s Office  (PAO) but with or  without lawyers, she must appear  in the Senate  on Thursday to testify on the alleged P10 billion “pork barrel” scam, Senate  President  Franklin Drilon  said.

Under the rules of  procedure, Drilon  said  an accused  has  the right  to choose her  own  lawyers.


So while Napoles may reject  the legal assistance  that PAO will provide, she could not use  it as an  excuse  not to appear  and testify  in the  Senate hearing, the Senate leader said.


“Tama. Pwede niyang tanggihan ang PAO lawyers. Pero hindi pwedeng hindi siya pumunta (That’s correct. She  may reject  the PAO lawyers. But  she  should be there)”  he told reporters on Wednesday.

Asked  if  Napoles  could still be questioned in the Senate  even if she appears without  a counsel, Drilon said: “Pwedeng tanungin sya pero pwede rin niyang sabihin na hindi ko po masagot dahil wala akong abogado (She can  be questioned but she can also say that  she can’t answer because she has no lawyer).

Asked  again  if the Senate  would give Napoles time to  find her own lawyers,  the Senate leader said the  Senate blue ribbon committee would have to discuss the matter first.

Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the scam, was  expected to appear  before the committee  when it resumes its session at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

It would be  the first  time that Napoles, who has been detained for serious illegal detention of her cousin and whistle-blower  Benhur Luy, would appear and testify   on the  “pork barrel” scam.

Aside from Napoles, Luy and other whistle-blowers in the scam were also  invited to appear  in the hearing.



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Janet Napoles and the pork barrel scam

TAGS: Lawyer, PDAF, Pork barrel

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