MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima speculated Monday that the Duterte administration is moving to acquit Janet Lim Napoles of an illegal detention case in order to "persecute" opposition lawmakers like her.
"I suspect na talagang mayroon na namang plano sila. Mayroon na namang gagawin kay Janet Lim Napoles. Gagamitin na naman siya siguro, kung sino na naman gusto nilang ipitin, maaaring ako na naman," De Lima told radio DZMM.
"Baka mayroon silang gustong ipitin na mga lawmakers, mga ii-implicate ni Janet Lim Napoles. Gagamitin na naman po iyan sa panggigipit, sa persecution na naman."
(I suspect that they have a plan. They will do something with Janet Lim Napoles. She will probably be used against those they want to harass, probably me again. There may be lawmakers that they want Janet Lim Napoles to implicate. She will be used in political persecution.)
Solicitor General Jose Calida last week said the Makati Regional Trial Court "erred" in handing a guilty verdict on Napoles in the illegal detainment of pork barrel scam whistle-blower Behur Luy.
As former Justice Secretary who led the filing of cases against alleged Napoles and several lawmakers tagged in the scam, De Lima dismissed Calida's decision as "madness."
She noted that Napoles's case went through due process and its probable cause was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
The senator also fears the possible acquittal of Napoles would weaken the separate plunder case against her.
Malacañang has brushed off claims that it is protecting Napoles.