- The OSG insisted there is no deal between Napoles and the government
- SolGen Calida said the OSG’s interest is for justice to be done
- He also denied knowing Napoles or her lawyers
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has denied it struck a deal with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles after recommending for her acquittal from the illegal detention case filed by Benhur Luy.
In a press conference on Wednesday, February 15, Solicitor General Jose Calida said there is no such deal between the government and Napoles, and the manifestation filed before the Court of Appeals (CA) last month was only meant to express their opinion on the matter.
“What deal are you talking about? We are talking about the rule of law here. There’s no deal as far as I’m concerned because my interest is to see to it that justice is done,” said Calida.
A recent article published by Malou Mangahas and Nancy C. Carvajal for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), said the OSG filed a “manifestation in lieu of rejoinder” last January 20 which recommends for Napoles’ acquittal from Luy’s illegal detention case.
The PCIJ also raised the question whether the Duterte administration has forged a ‘modus vivendi’ with Napoles, and if so, for what reasons and purposes?
But Calida dismissed the insinuation; saying he doesn’t personally know Napoles or her lawyers.
“Kaya those accusing that there is a deal, that’s a figment of their imagination. They don’t know me. If they knew me well, I am not that kind of person who makes ex-deals,” the SolGen said in a separate interview over DZMM.
“I don’t even know this Janet Lim Napoles. I don’t know her lawyers. I have not talked to anybody about this,” Calida insisted.
One of Napoles’ lawyers is Stephen David, founder of Cui-David, Buenaventura and Ang Offices, the law firm the former hired in 2014 to defend her plunder case before the Sandiganbayan.
David’s wife, Lanee Cui-David, according to Inquirer, has been appointed as deputy commissioner at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in July 2016.
Another Napoles lawyer, Bruce Rivera from San Beda College, is a staunch Duterte online supporter and defender.