Executive privilege can be invoked to stop de Lima from submitting list
MANILA - The list in the possession of former Senator Panfilo Lacson is not just a mere scrap of paper and can in fact be admitted as evidence, lawyer Romulo Macalintal said.
In a text message, Macalintal said the list could be part of the testimony of Lacson in case he testifies in a hearing.
"The same should not be discarded on mere technicality because it cud be used as a useful lead in resolving the involvement of certain high ranking lawmakers in the pork barrel scam,” he said.
Lacson got a copy of an unsigned list and affidavit from businesswoman Janet Napoles’ camp days before she gave her supposed tell-all to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
He submitted the documents before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which may open anew the investigation into the pork barrel scam.
Macalintal said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda should not just repudiate the actions of Lacson, who, like them, is also now part of the Cabinet.
“Since Lacson is now a Cabinet member, he is on the same level with Lacierda and De Lima in that they are alter egos of President Aquino and anything they say is treated as word of the President unless the latter repudiates the same. To say that what Lacson says is a mere scrap paper is equivalent to saying that the words of the President are also mere scraps of paper,” Macalintal said.
He said Lacson may resign as rehabilitation czar because of the "serious conflicts of opinion" with the two Cabinet officials.
However, he said the point of all the brouhaha over the lists is to seek the truth.
"If Lacson could release the unsigned list without verification, then there is no reason why de Lima could not release her own signed Napolist likewise without further verification, considering her claim that she cannot add or deduct anything from it," he noted.
With the Cabinet officials bickering, only President Benigno Aquino III could put a stop to the disclosure of the signed list in the possession of De Lima.
"Since PNoy claims he saw two conflicting Napolist with a third one still to come, then he might invoke executive privilege to prevent De Lima from submitting her Napolist to the Senate,” he said.