Drilon warns vs use of Napoles tell-all for 'political attacks'

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2014 05:11 PM | Updated as of Apr 24 2014 01:11 AM

MANILA - Senate President Franklin M. Drilon called for sobriety amid the revised testimony from businesswoman Janet Napoles, which is believed to contain more names linked to the pork scam.

Drilon affirmed his complete support for the full and immediate prosecution of all individuals involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, regardless of political affiliation.

"I fully support the full prosecution of all individuals involved in the pork barrel scam. The quest for justice must spare no one no matter their affiliation, and even the administration lawmakers and allies of the President must be covered by the investigation and its eventual prosecution," stressed Drilon.

He said the pursuit of delivering justice "should be blind to political colors."

However, the Senate chief cautioned against turning the process of finding out the truth into unlimited opportunities for mudslinging, witch hunts and smear campaigns, which "serve only to further the personal and political causes of some individuals."

Drilon called for an "atmosphere of sobriety" on the process of ferreting out the whole truth and enforcing the law on the controversy.

"In the face of controversy, what is important is we remain rational and circumspect while we search for the truth, and until we have put the perpetrators in jail. A sober approach on this controversy is of paramount importance, in order for this process to be successful," emphasized Drilon, a former justice secretary.

"I understand that this issue provides a lot of opportunities for political attacks. But we should not muddle the issue by embarking on witch hunts and black propaganda and ruin the sincere efforts to find the truth and render justice," he added.

"When anyone becomes a target of propaganda attacks, it is their reputation - their very integrity - that is wrongly put at stake," he pointed out.

Drilon said he wants that all involved in the scam to face the full brunt of the law, as long as there are enough evidence to support the charges.

"All charges must be supported by compelling and undeniable evidence, and they must be laid out and presented to the court and to the public,” he said.

He said those who will be charged should be given adequate opportunities to defend themselves, while those proven innocent should be freed of the charges.

"It is only through our courts and the country's justice system that we can achieve the genuine truth and justice rightfully demanded by our people. I invite everyone to help us in this just cause," he said.