Napoles as state witness a 'mockery of justice' – Robredo
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday, March 17, said it would be a "mockery of the justice system" if alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles becomes a state witness.
In a media interview after a forum in Baguio City, Robredo said Napoles made a mockery of Philippine laws. (TIMELINE: Pork barrel scam 'queen' Janet Napoles: From suspect to witness)
"Para sabihin na eligible siya para maging state witness, parang ginagawang mockery iyong justice system eh. Alam naman natin na iyong p'wede lang maging state witness iyong least guilty. Alam natin na si Janet Napoles iyong namuno para gawin ding mockery iyong mga batas natin," Robredo said on Saturday.
(To say that she is eligible to be a state witness, it is a mockery of the justice system. We know that only the least guilty can be a state witness. We know that Janet Napoles led the mockery of our laws.)
She added: "Siya iyong arkitekto para gumawa ng mga fake na NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) na mag-funnel in ng maraming malaking amounts ng taxpayers' money. Tapos ngayon, kung gagawin siyang state witness, anong implikasyon noon? Na ganoon-ganoon na lang ba?"
(She was the architect who created fake NGOs that funneled in huge amounts of taxpayers' money. Now, if she becomes a state witness, what will be the implication? Is that it?)
On Friday, March 16, the Department of Justice (DOJ) put Napoles under provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program. However, declaring Napoles as state witness is out of the department's hands. (READ: Will Napoles be state witness? Spotlight on the Special Prosecutor)
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said her office "will block any attempt" to make Napoles a state witness.
Robredo also took a swipe at the DOJ for dismissing charges against suspected drug lords Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa. (READ: Duterte promotes DOJ prosecutor who cleared suspects in big drug cases)
"Parang talaga bang gusto nating sabihin sa tao na...hindi na tayo dapat tumiwala sa sarili nating justice system? (Do we really want to tell our people that we should not believe in our own justice system anymore?)" she added.
Meanwhile, Robredo said the Philippines' withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) must be thought of thoroughly, in the same way joining the court was decided upon.
Robredo said there are many implications should the Philippine government withdraw from the court.
"Gusto bang sabihin ayaw na nating i-embrace iyong mga prinsipyo na in-embrace natin in the first place? Pangalawa, hindi siya maganda sa ating international reputation. Pangatlo, apektado nito iyong standing natin as far as international commitments are concerned," she explained.
(Are we saying we no longer want to embrace the principles we've embraced in the first place? Secondly, this is not good for our international reputation. Thirdly, this affects our standing as far as international commitments are concerned.)
She also said the decision will allow others to "speculate" against the Philippines.
Ambassador Teodoro Locsin Jr, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, submitted the Philippines' formal notice of withdrawal to the chef de cabinet of the UN Secretary-General on Friday. – Rappler.com