#AnimatED: Justice according to Jose Calida
“My interest is to see to it that justice is done.” So said Solicitor General Jose Calida in defending his office's decision to move for the acquittal of Janet Napoles in a detention case for which she had been convicted.
Justice for whom?
Justice for President Rodrigo Duterte's friends and schoolmates, who defended the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind in the series of cases lodged against her?
Justice for Napoles, who corrupted lawmakers by creating layers of fake NGOs to siphon off government funds in the guise of doing projects for the poor?
Justice for her family, who at one point would convert their bath tubs and dining tables into cash dens for sheer lack of space?
What is the solicitor general thinking? That we are a nation of fools?
All the courts in the land – the court of public opinion, the local court, the Supreme Court – have weighed in on the Napoles case since the pork barrel controversy broke in 2013.
No corruption case in recent years has put all 3 forums on the same page: that there is strong evidence of guilt on her part, and that her scheme has been deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy and the private sector.
No corruption case in recent history has been given closure – to a great extent. Close to half a million Filipinos, in fact, marched to the Luneta to protest and show indignation. Government filed volumes of cases against the accused. The courts had powerful politicians arrested and jailed. The Supreme Court ruled that the pork barrel system is unconstitutional. To this day, various pork barrel cases continue to be filed with the anti-graft court.
Yet, in one stroke, Jose Calida, mandated to promote and defend public interest, made a mockery of all that.
He's reopening what to many Filipinos is an already closed case. (READ: Janet Napoles gets life sentence for detaining Benhur Luy)
Benhuy Luy, a Napoles aide and principal witness to the scam, has told the public and the courts in great detail how he was forced to testify against Napoles after he had been pushed to a corner that made him fear for his life.
But Calida is now telling the court not to believe him.
Lest we forget: Napoles is the alleged mastermind of the entire scam that has brought to court more than 30 public and private sector officials, and jailed 3 senators. Luy's testimony against her is the link to all subsequent allegations against her and her entire network. (READ: Navigating the PDAF scam affidavits)
If Calida, representing this government, succeeds in destroying the credibility of Luy in court, common sense should warn us of what lies ahead.
And for what? To accommodate friendship and personal ties. The ones that bind the President to Napoles' lawyers. The ones that make light of everything we've fought for. – Rappler.com
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