MANILA – Senators on Sunday insisted that Janet Lim-Napoles must be invited to the Senate probe on the alleged misuse of the Malapaya Fund.
Senators Francis Escudero and JV Ejercito said on a radio interview that Napoles must be given the chance to answer.
This is despite the possibility of her invoking her right to remain silent.
The statement was made by the senators before the opening of the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged embezzlement of P900 million.
The money was supposed to be the government’s share in the operation of gas fields and was originally allocated for the Typhoon victims in 2009.
The statement of the two senators came following Sen. Teofisto Guingona III’s hesitations on summoning Napoles to the hearing adding that he feels it was not yet the time to invite her.
The senator cited previous instances when Napoles did not answer the questions of the senators and instead, cited her right against self-incrimination.
Escudero, however said that it was inevitable for Napoles to do that but she must be granted the chance to defend herself.
“Even if she lies or invokes her right to remain silent, she has to be given the opportunity to be heard because surely, her name will be used and mentioned,” Escudero said over dzBB.
“It would be unfair to blame everything on her and then not give her the opportunity to answer. If she doesn’t want to use that chance, it’s her loss,” he said.