Santiago urges Napoles to avail of “perpetuation of testimony”

September 3, 2013 9:11 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Sept 2 (PNA) — Janet Lim-Napoles should by now avail of “perpetuation testimony” to preserve for future use any witness testimony that might otherwise be unavailable at trial, Senator Miriam Santiago said Monday.

Santiago explained it was part of the process that will assure that the evidence will be preserved when trial begins, even if something happens to the witness.

She added that it was all part of what the Rules of Court call "deposition and discovery," which is intended to take place before trial.

The deposition will consist of Napoles' written testimony that is given in writing outside of the court, the feisty lawmaker said.

One of the most important parts of the content of the petition, Santiago said, is the name of the persons that Napoles expect will be adverse parties—the lawmakers who gave pork barrel funds to Napoles-related NGOs.

"The court should grant the petition for deposition if the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice," Santiago said.

"It can reasonably be expected that Napoles will name the senators and representatives as expected adverse parties,” she added. “The Rules require her to serve notice at least 20 days before the date of hearing.”

Moreoever, Santiago said that discovery is given if a party to a criminal case requests compulsory disclosure of information that relates to the litigation and that depositions and discovery constitute the pre-trial phase of a law suit.

"Any adverse event could prevent Napoles from fully identifying the senators and congressmen with whom she had PDAF transactions,” Santiago said.

Here she mentioned a situation wherein any of the suspects could hire operatives to silence her, or she might inflict physical damage on herself.

“She might contract a life-threatening ailment. For any of these reasons, the Rules of Court allows her to give her testimony well before trial," she said, urging Napoles to make a deposition before trial begins in court.

"If Napoles decides to perpetuate her testimony in order to reduce the level of threats to her security, she has to file a verified petition in court," the senator added. (PNA)



One Response to “Santiago urges Napoles to avail of “perpetuation of testimony””

  1. Fred C. Magdalera on September 8th, 2013 2:32 pm

    The suggestion of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to Justice Sec. Laila Delima for the perpetuation of Janet Lim-Napoles’ testimony should be adopted and executed immediately. The same safeguard to the testimonies of all the whistle-blowers must be done now. The Philippines’ legal and justice systems have much to be desired. The country cannot afford to lose and forget this pork barrel scam like what happened to anomalies exposed by Jun Lozada, Colonel Rabusa, Sandra Cam and other whistle-blowers.