Pork raps can still be amended—Pimentel
Ombudsman prosecutors have the prerogative to amend their complaint against Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said on Friday.
“What I know is that there is a certain period of time when the information can be amended, both in form and in substance. After a certain event, it can only be amended as to substance with the permission of the court,” Pimentel said by phone.
If the amended complaint is filed within the period allowed by the rules of court, he said, then there is no need to “interpret the meaning” of the motion.
“It’s their prerogative to have it amended, if they think this would help their case,” said Pimentel, a lawyer and chair of the Senate justice committee.
“There should be no meaning placed on the motion because you have a window of time to file the motion,” he said.
Two failed motions
The Sandiganbayan on Thursday threw out the prosecutors’ motion to amend the information against Revilla. On Friday, the prosecutors withdrew a similar motion in the case against Estrada.
Pimentel refused to comment on the substance of the amended information, saying, “Let the aggrieved party pursue its remedy under the rules of court.”
He said the filing of plunder charges against businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles was justified if the prosecutors could show that the crime was committed in conspiracy with government officials.
“Under the conspiracy theory, if all accused are private individuals, there’s no plunder case. But if there’s conspiracy with officials, plunder is possible. How could the public officials have plundered if not with the help of some private individuals? That’s conspiracy. The act of one is the act of all,” he said.
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