MANILA — It will be up to the Office of the Ombudsman to decide whether alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles would be allowed to return the money she acquired from the misused P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Malacanang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a Palace media briefing, said that Malacanang does not have the authority to decide on the matter.
“It is only the Office of the Ombudsman that is clothed with the authority to recommend to the Sandiganbayan any action on such matters,” Coloma said.
“…We respect the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman,” he added. “Let us just wait for them to decide on the matter.”
Napoles reportedly obtained about P2 billion from the P10-billion PDAF misuse.
Just recently, she submitted an expanded affidavit listing down the names of former and current government officials who have allegedly benefitted from the scam.
This, according to her lawyer, Atty. Stephen David, was her way of seeking immunity from prosecution by turning state witness.