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Good Morning Judge: Napoles as witness

Eufronio K. Maristela Judge (Ret.) THE reported plan of Secretary of Justice Vitallano Aquire to reinvestigate the Priority Development Plan scam and have Janet Lim-Napoles as state witness has earned strong opposition from Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. In a press statement, Morales was reported to have said that “her office would block the Duterte administration’s plan.” She further alleged that her “office has the ‘last say’ on the prosecution of pork barrel scam cases stressing that it is not bound by the findings of the DOJ and that “as far as the prosecution is concerned she (Napoles) is one of the alleged principal malefactors xxx hence, “the office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) will block any attempt to make her state witness.” This writer supports 100% the stand taken by the Ombudsman whose office is incidentally celebrating its 29th foundation anniversary today (May 18). Parenthetically, we personally know Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales who was assigned as one of the Regional Trial Court judges in Pili for some time until her transfer as RTC Judge in Quezon City and later as Ombudsman. She is an honest and upright judge whose dedication to the cause of justice and due process is certainly beyond reproach. Pardon the language but I would say that she is a woman with strong balls. Indeed, it would be ironic if Napoles is allowed to stand as state witness while his co-accused in the plunder cases, namely: Jingoy Estrada and Bong Revilla are still in detention. Former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, also accused of plunder has recently been freed from detention under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s watch. TRIVIA: Belated congratulations to Sir Knight Ronie Llagas who celebrated his Nth birthday anniversary last Sunday during the regular meeting of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree Assembly with a luncheon-fellowship. In my own behalf and that of my spouse Minda, I wish to express my deep and sincere condolences to the bereaved family of the late Sir Knight Emmanuel M. Cajot who recently passed away and whose necrological services was held last May 13 at the St. Peters Chapel. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “NOTHING GIVES ONE PERSON SO MUCH ADVANTAGE OVER ANOTHER AS TO REMAIN ALWAYS COOL AND UNRUFFLED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.” THOMAS JEFFERSON FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD “FOR I AM THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WHO GRASP YOUR RIGHT HAND; IT IS I WHO SAY TO YOU: ‘FEAR NOT, I WILL HELP YOU.” ISAIAH 41:13

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