Reacting to the acquittal by the Court of Appeals of Janet Napoles, Senator Risa Hontiveros had this to say:
The acquittal “is another ‘deplorable’ act under the Duterte administration.” She also cited the acquittal of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder charges, and the hero’s burial for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“May I remind the Duterte administration that corruption and the failure to curb it are some of the decisive elements in the weakening of governments. The dangerous combination of authoritarianism and softness on corruption bodes ill for the strength and legacy of the administration,” she said.
Big words — hopefully not plagiarized — for the neophyte lady senator.
How I wish Hontiveros would do a little research — even if it’s just Google and Wikipedia — before she opens her mouth. She embarrasses herself.
May I remind the senator that:
- The decision to acquit Napoles came from the Court of Appeals, not from President Duterte.
- The decision to acquit former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came from the Supreme Court, not Duterte
- The decision to allow the burial of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos in Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, came from the Supreme Court, not Duterte.
- The last time I checked, the Supreme Court that acquitted Arroyo and allowed the Marcos burial was composed of justices who were all appointed by previous administrations. (The first two Supreme Court appointees by Duterte — Samuel Martires and Noel Tijam — weren’t sitting on the bench when those decisions came down.)
- While it is a fact that one of the judges of the Court of Appeals was a recent appointee of Duterte, Louis Acosta was on the shortlist recommended by the Judicial and Bar Council. Under the Constitution, the JBC is mandated to vet and recommend to the President nominees for vacancies in the Supreme Court and lower courts, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman.
- As in any court case, there is a prosecution and a defense, either of which must prove to the court their position ‘beyond reasonable doubt.” Did it ever occur to Hontiveros that maybe, the prosecution’s cases involving Arroyo, Marcos and Napoles were weak?
I understand Hontiveros’ intentions to remain a relevant member of the Opposition, but her haste in issuing meritless public statements could only incriminate herself. Or render her irrelevant.