MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to deny the petition for bail of pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in connection with a plunder case where she stands as co-accused of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
The Ombudsman said the Sandiganbayan had correctly denied the bail petition of Napoles "as the people was able to establish 'proof evident' of her guilt."
The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division in 2015 dismissed Napoles' petition for bail, prompting her to seek relief from the High Court in 2016.
Napoles' move mimicked that of Enrile, who convinced the SC to overrule the Sandiganbayan and grant him the right to bail.
The Ombudsman said the Sandiganbayan did not err in giving weight to the evidence presented by corruption whistleblower Benhur Luy, including a daily log of transactions showing that Enrile’s Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations were funneled into dubious non-government organizations controlled by Napoles.
"The counsel of Napoles did not raise any question on the existence and authenticity of the original copies of the DDRs (Daily Disbursement Reports)," the Ombudsman noted.
The Ombudsman also emphasized that bail denial does not involve questions of facts.
"The grounds invoked in the petition establish reappreciation of facts and evidence. However the honorable court (SC) is not a trier of facts. Moreover a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court determines questions of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and never questions of facts," the Ombudsman said. -- With a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News