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Janet Lim Napoles Senate Testimony
« on: December 25, 2017, 07:06:25 PM »
In response to Senate Pres. Drilon’s letter: Napoles’ Senate testimony “not advisable” – Ombudsman Morales
24 September 2013, Press Release Ombudsman

            In a letter dated September 23, 2013 and transmitted to the Office of the Senate President at around 11:00AM today, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales submits that “it would not be advisable, at this time, for Ms. Napoles to testify before the said Committee on ‘what she knows’ about the alleged scam[.]”

            Ombudsman Morales explained that “the publicity that may be spawned by the testimony of Ms. Napoles would, among other things, adversely affect public interest, prejudice the safety of witnesses or the disposition of cases against her and/or her co-respondents pending before this Office, or unduly expose them to ridicule or public censure,” citing Section 15[1] of Republic Act No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989) and Section 2,[2] Rule V of Administrative Order No. 7 (Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman).

            The letter of Ombudsman Morales was in response to Sen. Drilon’s letter of even date requesting the comment of the Office of the Ombudsman, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Senate Oscar Yabes, on Sen. Teofisto Guingona III’s request for the Senate President to approve the issuance of a subpoena to Janet Lim-Napoles for her to appear and testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on September 26, 2013.

            Ombudsman Morales cited the recent filing with the Office of the Ombudsman on September 16, 2013 of the first set of PDAF-related complaints by the National Bureau of Investigation and Atty. Levi Baligod.

            The letter also disclosed that “[t]here are also other PDAF-related cases involving other government officials in conspiracy with other private persons which are pending investigation” by the Office of the Ombudsman.

            Ombudsman Morales opines that summoning Napoles would not produce reliable information at this stage, considering that she has publicly, consistently professed that she is not involved in any PDAF-related transaction.##

[1]  The Ombudsman is authorized to “[p]ublicize matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in paragraphs, (1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence:  Provided, That the Ombudsman under its rules and regulations may determine what cases may not be made public:  Provided further, That any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balanced, fair and true. (underscoring supplied)

[2]  Sec. 2.  Public Disclosure; Exemption. – When circumstances so warrant and with due prudence, the Office of the Ombudsman may publicize in a fair and balanced manner the filing of a complaint, grievance or request for assistance, and the final resolution, decision or action taken thereon;  Provided, however, that prior to such final action, no publicity shall be made of matters which may adversely affect national security or public interest, prejudice the safety of witnesses or the disposition of the case or unduly expose persons complained against to ridicule or public censure.  (underscoring supplied)

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