Bishop backs call for Napoles’ testimony ahead of trial

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MANILA, Sept. 3, 2013— A Catholic bishop is supporting a call for Janet Lim-Napoles be allowed to make a written testimony about the alleged pork barrel scam ahead of her trial. 

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s call is worth consideration to secure necessary evidence. 

“That is one way to hasten the process… so that we’ll be able to know what she knows as soon as possible,” said Pabillo. 

Pabillo currently chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action—Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. 

The bishop also expressed wariness that the furor over the P10 billion pork barrel scam might just be put on the back burner. 

According to him, the chance is that the issue will become another Maguindanao Massacre case, wherein justice remains elusive for the victims. 

“We might see another Ampatuan case. It was only good at the start. Afterwards, it was just forgotten,” Pabillo said. 

“That is our problem here in the country. Many are accused but there is no one being prosecuted,” he said. 

He underscored that there is a need to immediately prosecute those involved in the alleged scam to ensure that justice will be served to the people. 

“This is why it is important to hasten the proceedings. If the case drags, the more it will become complicated. That’s why a speedy process is necessary,” he said. 

Napoles, accused of working with several lawmakers who misused their pork barrel funds, is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. 

The bishop, meanwhile, said Malacañang cannot blame the public for thinking that Napoles is being given special treatment. 

“We can really see that the treatment for Napoles is different from regular prisoners. That is why the people are asking… It is not believable (that there’s no VIP treatment),” he added. “She appears to be overly protected… given utmost importance.” (CBCPNews)

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