Napoles wants 2014 affidavit excluded from plunder trial

MANILA, Philippines – It was a highly controversial affidavit in 2014 now more popularly known as the "Napolist" where alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles named over 100 lawmakers she transacted with for the scam.

But now she doesn't want the affidavit to be used as the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan prepares for the first-ever pork scam trial. After nearly 6 months of repeated postponements, the plunder trial of detained senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr is set to finally start on Thursday, June 22.

Napoles filed a motion before the anti-graft court on Tuesday, asking that her affidavits in 2014 be excluded from the trial. Napoles is Revilla's co-defendant for plunder. (READ: Will trial finally start for Bong Revilla's plunder case?)

Used only for WPP application

According to Napoles, she prepared that affidavit in 2014 to support her application as state witness. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales rejected that application.

"R.A. 6981 is explicit, that if a person who applied in the Witness Protection Program (WPP) was later on denied of his application in the program, any sworn statement or other testimony he executed in such application shall not be admissible," Napoles said, quoting Section 11 of the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act.

According to Napoles, she gave that affidavit only to then justice secretary Leila de Lima. 

"Having said that, the authenticity of any copies of sworn statements executed by the herein accused produced by any other agency aside from the Department of Justice (DOJ) is doubtful," Napoles said.

The 2014 Napoles affidavit will come from the Senate and not the DOJ, with Ombudsman prosecutors manifesting that they will present a witness from the Senate to testify on the existence and authenticity of the affidavit.

In May 2014, De Lima complied with the subpoena of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and submitted the affidavits to them.

Right against self-incrimination

Napoles again uses her right against self-incrimination in asking the Sandiganbayan to trash her affidavit.

"The presentation of the alleged affidavit dated 12 May 2014 and Sworn Statement dated 26 May 2014 would definitely violate accused's right against self-incrimination as the affidavits contain statements and narration of facts that will incriminate the herein accused in the present case," Napoles said.

This move by the Napoles camp is consistent with the current developments at the Department of Justice (DOJ) where they are expected to file fresh complaints. 

The DOJ is also set to reinvestigate the scam in what is being branded by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as a more objective justice that targets personalities allied with the Aquino administration.

Aguirre, quoting Napoles' lawyer Stephen David, said the new complaint will include De Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad, Senator Franklin Drilon, and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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