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DOJ and OSG accused of ‘giving undue favor’ to Napoles

Lawyer Levi Baligod on Friday accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General of “giving undue favor” to the so-called pork-barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles, the alleged brains behind the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, was placed by DOJ under the provisional coverage of the government’s Witness Protection Program.

“I see in the actions of DOJ some venal acts. Hindi ito isolated. Connected ito doon sa ginawa ng Solicitor General,” Baligod said in a Bandila DZMM interview.

The OSG filed with the Court of Appeals a “manifestation in lieu of rejoinder” that recommended the acquittal of the businesswoman for the crime of serious illegal detention against whistleblower Benhur Luy.

On May 2017, the CA reversed a lower court ruling that found Napoles guilty.

Baligod, Luy’s former legal counsel, said he will file graft charges against the DOJ and OSG for “giving undue favor” to Napoles.

“Kung i-a-apply lang sana ng DOJ ang batas na tama, hindi papasa ito,” he said.

Baligod said there’s no such thing as provisional admission into WPP.

“And yet may certification na. Mag-issue ka lang po ng certification kung admitted na siya sa program. Ang sinasabi provisional pa lang, pero ginagamit na ang provisional admission niya para ilipat siya.”

‘INELIGIBLE’

Despite the DOJ’s action, Baligod doubts Napoles would become a state witness.

He said Napoles would not qualify under Republic Act 6981 or Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act.

Under Section 3 of RA 6981, “Any person who has witnessed or has knowledge or information on the commission of a crime and has testified or is testifying or about to testify before any judicial or quasi-judicial body, or before any investigating authority, may be admitted into the Program.”

He said Napoles, who is detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, is not in any physical danger.

He said Napoles would not also qualify under Section 10 of RA 6981.

The law states, “Any person who has participated in the commission of a crime and desires to be a witness for the State, can apply and, if qualified as determined in this Act and by the Department, shall be admitted into the Program whenever the following circumstances are present” such as “he does not appear to be most guilty.”

“Eh, nag-participate siya sa PDAF. She is one of the three indispensable parties,” Baligod said.

“Ang three indispensable parties ay the legislators, the head of the implementing agency, and Mrs. Napoles having control of the NGOs.”

“Kung wala ang isa diyan, hindi matutuloy ang PDAF scam.”

‘QUESTIONABLE CREDIBILITY’

The alleged pork-barrel scam architect would also have to hurdle the Ombudsman, the lead prosecutor in her plunder and graft charges.

Baligod said, “Ayaw ni Ombudsman na maging state witness siya. Kasi the state cannot benefit from her being a state witness.”

Napoles, Baligod said, had denied any hand in the scandal when she testified before the Senate.

It would not be consistent under the principle of evidence “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” or “false in one thing, false in everything.”

“‘Yung nagsinungaling ka na noon, paano magagarantiya ang husgado na hindi ka nagsisinungaling ngayon?”

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