Published May 13, 2017 2:03pm
Solicitor General Jose Calida on Saturday hit back at Sen. Francis Pangilinan after the lawmaker questioned the government's plan to turn alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles into a state witness.
"Are you afraid Napoles will unmask the supercilious hypocrisy of the unlamented 'Daang Matuwid' regime?" Calida asked Pangilinan in a tweet.
"Daang Matuwid" is the battle cry of the previous administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, a stalwart of the Liberal Party. Pangilinan is the party's current president.
Calida said in his initial tweet that only the prosecution and the court are involved in the process of turning an accused into a state witness.
In a statement on Friday, Pangilinan questioned the government's plan to turn Napoles into a state witness.
"Paano nangyari na yung pinakamalaki ang nakulimbat sa pork barrel na mas malaki pa sa bawat politico – dahil sa lahat nung congressman at senador na kanyang kasabwat ay may hati siya — ay gagawing state witness?" said Pangilinan in a statement.
The senator insisted that "Napoles will say anything just to save her skin."
He is hoping that the high court will not allow the government to use Napoles as a statement in the cases filed in court in connection with the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.
Napoles is facing several cases before the Sandiganbayan due to her alleged involvement in the scam.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had met with the camp of Napoles to explore the possibility of turning the alleged scam mastermind into a state witness.
Aguirre assured that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will conduct an impartial pork barrel scam probe.
In a tweet on Friday, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said that the DOJ's reinvestigation of the pork barrel scam would become "bogus" if it uses Napoles as state witness.
"Any pork barrel investigation that results in the release of Napoles is as bogus as drug charges that result in the release of drug lords," Hilbay said in a tweet.
—Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/ALG, GMA News