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Oh no! Pangilinan, Hontiveros say Napoles’ acquittal a bad sign for her pork cases

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Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros cannot help but be alarmed at the Court of Appeals’ (CA) acquittal of alleged pork barrel scam Janet Lim Napoles in the serious illegal detention case filed by her cousin and former aide Benhur Luy.

Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, said the reversal of Napoles’ conviction is a bad sign because it means the court does not believe the testimony of Luy, who happens to be a key witness in the pork barrel scam cases.

“Paano na ang PDAF cases?” he asked.

What’s further alarming, the senator said, was the pronouncement coming from Solicitor General Jose Calida who is supposed to be the defender of the government, claiming that the lower court erred in its earlier ruling.

“Paano na ang iba pang kaso ni Napoles? Bakit pinagtatanggol ng tagapagtanggol ng bayan ang pork barrel queen? Sumpung bilyon ang nawala sa kaban ng bayan, perang dapat sana’y napunta sa agrikultura, sa mga proyektong makikinabang ang magsasaka pero napunta sa bank account nya at ng ilang mambabatas. Paano pa maibabalik ang perang ito?” Pangilinan asked.

With this latest turn of events, Hontiveros said Napoles is just a breath away from freedom.

Hontiveros shared Pangilinan’s assertions that Calida’s statements undermined the credibility of Luy, who is the state witness and whose testimony has kept her and her supposed co-accused high profile public officials in jail.

“This sets into motion the possible release from prison of all those responsible for plundering the nation’s coffers. This is truly a sad day for all those pushing for justice and accountability,” she said.

“May I remind the Duterte administration that corruption and the failure to curb it are some of the decisive elements in the weakening of government. The dangerous combination of authoritarianism and softness on corruption bodes ill for the strength and legacy of the administration,” Hontiveros said.