Escudero: WPP coverage won’t affect Napoles plunder cases
The provisional coverage of Janet Lim Napoles under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not have an effect on her plunder cases now pending before the Sandiganbayan, Senator Francis Escudero said on Saturday.
Escudero explained that it was the DOJ which had placed Napoles under the WPP as she turned government witness and not the Ombudsman.
“Itong panibagong pagtanggap sa kanya sa WPP ng DOJ, wala yang kinalaman doon dahil kinakailangan pa nila muna ng permiso ng korte bago nila magawa yan,” the senator said in an interview with dwIZ.
In 2013, plunder cases against Napoles were filed before the Ombudsman for being allegedly the mastermind behind the P10 billion pork barrel scam would not
Other senators involved in the plunder case were former Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile, former senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. and two former representatives.
Escudero clarified that unless the DOJ requests the Ombudsman that she also be made state witness for the previous cases filed against her, Napoles’ provisional coverage under the WPP will not have an effect on these pending cases.
“Mananatili yun at magagalaw lamang yun at may mangyayare lamang yoon kung hihilingin nila ang permiso ng husgado,” Escudero said.
On Friday Napoles was placed under the WPP as a government witness after she executed an affidavit, which according to the DOJ, provided more details on the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the “pork barrel” fund.
“We confirm that Janet L. Napoles has been placed under Provisional Admission of WPP subject to affidavit she submitted which is now undergoing assessment,” Aguirre said in a text message. /muf
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