MAKATI CITY, Philippines – The group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) rallied in front of the Makati City Jail on Saturday, August 31, to condemn the special treatment given to Janet Lim-Napoles, who is currently detained there. They called on other concerned Filipinos to join them.
VACC members arrived at around 9:00 am with picket signs protesting the VIP treatment given to Napoles inside the city jail. They also want Napoles to tell the truth, and the government to abolish the pork barrel system.
“Nananawagan po kami: kayong mga nagpunta at mga kasama namin sa Luneta, magtungo na po kayo dito. Hindi po namin kakayanin ito sa VACC. Kailangang mag-ingay tayo. Galit na galit na po ang mamamayan,” said VACC President Dante Jimenez.
(To those who went to Luneta, please come here. The VACC cannot do it alone. We should make some noise. The Filipino people are already furious.)
Jimenez was referring to the “Million People March” that took place at the Luneta Park in Manila on Monday, August 26.
Jimenez added they will remain in front of the city jail gate. Said Jimenez, “Magvi-vigil kami rito. Matutulog kami rito.” (We will stage a vigil here. We will sleep here.)
Napoles surrended to President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday night, several hours after a P10-million reward was put up by Aquino for the capture of Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim in connection with the serious illegal detention charge filed against them.
Napoles was then detained in Camp Crame, Quezon City until she was transferred to the Makati City Jail on Thursday, August 29, following a commitment order of a Makati City regional trial court.
She will stay put in the facility until security measures have been beefed up. Only then will she be transferred to Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, as ordered by the same Makati Court.
Repeal PD 749
The VACC also asked Congress to repeal Presidential Decree No. 749, which grants immunity from prosecution to givers of bribes and their accomplices in bribery and graft cases against public officials.
In a press statement, VACC argued that “a briber can be ‘exempted from prosecution’ and can go scot-free if he willingly testifies against the public officials who receive the bribe under certain conditions (as in the case of senators and congressmen) using the cloak of PD 749.”
Jimenez also urged President Aquino to make the abolition or repeal of PD 749 a priority, “so that Janet Napoles could be charged with plunder together with the bribe-takers.”
PD 749 was issued by former President Ferdinand Marcos on July 18, 1975, three years into the Martial Law regime. – Rappler.com