Santiago denounces inclusion on Luy list, mulls running for president
MANILA, Philippines – “If corruption is this bad, maybe I should run for president,” Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said as she denounced as “false” on Wednesday allegations linking her into the “pork barrel” scam.
“For the record, I denounce as false, the allegations against me drawn from the Luy list. All the documents are fake. I have no clue about the alleged details, which are all falsified or fictitious,” Santiago said in a statement.
She was reacting to the Philippine Daily Inquirer report, which mentioned her name as one of those who had allegedly transacted with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles based on the files or records of “pork” scam whistle-blower, Benhur Luy.
“I will confront Luy and Napoles, if they appear at the Senate. Someone has made money by using my name, and I will make that person pay, big time,” Santiago said.
“Presumably, there are other people who, like me, are innocent, but whose names and identities have been stolen. Therefore, by analogy with criminal proceedings, the Senate blue ribbon committee should grant to the innocent senators all the constitutional rights enjoyed by the accused in criminal proceedings, namely, the right to “meet the witnesses face-to-face, and to have compulsory processes to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf,” she said.
If such a confrontation materializes, Santiago said she would consider it extremely unfortunate that under the Constitution, she would not be allowed to use “violence” against those guilty of identity theft.
“My name has been used in vain by the Napoles Gang of thieves. I thought that if the Luy list included documents, they would first be authenticated, before publication. Silly me,” she said.
“It turns out that the Luy list has not been authenticated under the Rules of Court. The Napoles Gang merely forged certain public documents and used certain names like mine, to pad their in-house records,” the senator lamented.
Santiago said there are two kinds of documents that are admissible in court–first, the private document (such as those kept by the “Napoles Gang”) that needs to be proved with respect to “due execution and authenticity.”
“This means that there should be a witness who saw the documents executed or written. Or, there should be evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker,” she pointed out.
The second, she said, is called public documents (such as those issued by Department of Budget and Management), which must be proved by a certified true copy from the official custodian.
“The Luy list has no proof of the attestation of any public document, and no proof of the authenticity of any private document. Thus, the Luy list constitutes no proof at all against me and others like me. The Luy list is nothing but mudslinging. How sad for our country that such villainy can come to pass?” Santiago said.
The senator then raised the possibility of running for president only to address the worsening problems of corruption in the country.
“If corruption is this bad, maybe I should run for president, on the same anticorruption platform from which I have fulminated all these years,” she said.
“And maybe I should deliver a privilege speech against you-know-who. I understand that his official boss is vexed, because of the grandiloquent ambitions of this rogue in uniform,” Santiago added. She did not elaborate as to who she was pertaining to.
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