Manila – The 50-year old alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, Janet Lim-Napoles, now sits for the Senate hearing.
Napoles asks for an executive session with the senate because according to her, the investigation is a sensitive issue.
The chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, Senator Teofisto Guingona III again rejects Napoles’ request explaining that the hearing does not affect the national security.
At 10:07 in the morning, Guingona proceeds to the hearing telling Napoles to speak up and defend herself this time.
In his opening statement, he says, “Patunayan mo, Ms. Napoles na nagkamali sila sa kanilang iniisip. Pagkakataon nyong makatulong sa bayan. Huwag nyong sayangin ang pagkakataong ito”.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and the whistle-blowers are present in the hearing. Also, at least 13 senators confirmed attendance.
Napoles is innocent?
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago turns impatient as Napoles’ seem to avoid all her questions and instead, Napoles only repeatedly say that she invokes her right “against self-incrimination.’’
Santiago continuously asks Napoles about the “tanda”, “sexy”, and “pogi” senators who are implicated into the scam, referring to Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla.
In response, Napoles answers that she does not know. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/522183/napoles-keeps-mum-when-quizzed-by-santiago)
Santiago continues firing questions despite annoyance.
Regardless of the inherent power of the senate to bring Napoles in court, De Lima said that senators could not force Napoles for tell-all because the witnesses could always invoke their right against self-incrimination. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/521715/napoles-at-senate-thursday-will-she-talk)
Napoles builds workforce
Three public lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) sit beside Napoles during the Senate hearing today.
Guingona consults Napoles if she still wants a few more minutes to confer with the three.
“We need quality time for our client. This is the first time that we have met Napoles,” lawyer Howard Areza said after requesting to give them half an hour. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/522083/senate-rejects-napoles-request-for-executive-session)
Guingona gave Napoles and her lawyers until 10:30 a.m. to confer. (ELAINE FAYE M. ABUEVA, LNU Intern)