MANILA (UPDATED) - The camp of Benhur Luy is shocked by Solicitor General Jose Calida's opinion that alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles should be acquitted in her serious illegal detention case.
Speaking on ANC, Atty. Raji Mendoza, Luy's lawyer, said Calida's statement was also surprising, considering that there weren't any recent developments on the case.
"We were just surprised that it was the OSG [Office of the Solicitor General] taking an adverse position while the case is in the Court of Appeals, and we were also taken aback by the fact that we were not aware of any order of the Court of Appeals for this manifestation, nor were there any recent developments that would have necessitated the filing of this manifestation," he said.
He also said Calida's position is "very rare," especially for a high-profile case.
"Although this has been done before, the past Solicitor General has taken adverse position, but it is very rare, especially in this case, it's a very controversial case," Mendoza said.
Despite the developments, Mendoza said they still believe in the justice system and will follow whatever the Court of Appeals decides.
"The next move is, I don't know, really. It's shocking for us. Si Benhur nga is a little depressed right now but we believe in the system. We'll just take it as it comes," he said.
"The OSG should be more independent and should be for the people, and if that's there stand, let's just see how it goes," Mendoza added.
In a press conference Wednesday, Calida said a local court “erred” in handing a guilty verdict on alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in her serious illegal detention case.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) first reported that the OSG filed with the Court of Appeals a “manifestation in lieu of rejoinder” recommending the acquittal of Napoles for the crime of serious illegal detention of her second cousin Luy.
Calida also dismissed rumors that the OSG’s move in Napoles’ serious illegal detention case will have implications to her pork barrel scam cases, where several politicians have been implicated and detained.