MANILA—Members of the clergy said the Court of Appeals’ (CA) decision to acquit Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the PHP10-billion priority development assistance fund scam, only fuels suspicion that PDAF money talks.
“Also, it just adds to the mistrust of our people in our courts, (that) only the poor, the unknown and has no connection are convicted,” said Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos.
“We are waiting to see the moneyed and those in higher ups to be convicted by courts.”
For his part, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC) executive secretary, Fr. Jerome Secillano, expressed hope that the CA decision would not affect Napoles’ other cases.
“Let’s just hope that the acquittal would not have an impact on her other cases. If it does, then it is going to be the ‘mother of all injustices’,” Secillano said.
“With all the bogus foundations she put up, I guess those are overwhelming indications not only of an intent to steal from government coffers but of thievery itself with the connivance of some unscrupulous politicians.”
On Monday, the appellate court reversed the decision of a Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Napoles in the criminal case filed by Benhur Luy, who had accused her of locking him up inside a subdivision in Makati City to prevent him from exposing the PDAF racket.
In 2015, the Makati RTC sentenced the alleged PDAF scam mastermind up to 40 years in prison for illegally detaining her cousin.