Pimentel, Hontiveros slam provisional WPP coverage for Napoles
Even Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was stunned by the “crazy” development of Janet Lim Napoles being placed under the government’s protection.
“What an unbelievable crazy’ development,” Pimentel said in a viber message to Senate reporters on Friday.
“Do some people in the DOJ (Department of Justice) really believe that Janet Lim Napoles is qualified to be a state witness in the PDAF scam which she herself invented organized and perpetuated???” he added.
PDAF is the lawmakers’ priority development assistance fund also known as “pork barrel”, which was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has confirmed that Napoles, the principal accused in the pork barrel scam, has been placed under the provisional coverage of the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).
Senator Risa Hontiveros, an opposition member, lambasted the government’s decision, calling it a “travesty of justice.”
“It reverses the gains won by the people in their anti-corruption struggle, which culminated in the historic Million People March,” Hontiveros said.
“This is expected, however. After all, this is the same government that used the testimonies of convicted and self-confessed drug lords (who have everything to gain and nothing to lose) to intimidate and unjustly incarcerates one of the leading figures of the political opposition.”
Hontiveros said she would not be surprised if Napoles would also be used as a “political weapon” to further harass other opposition members and create a “chilling effect.”
“Napoles could also be used as a means to enforce loyalty within the Duterte camp. All those who will not toe the line and have strong opinions against the government’s policies and the President himself could easily be included in Napoles’ pork barrel list,” she added. /muf
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