Napoles acquittal a ‘sad day for public accountability’ – Hontiveros

Photo courtesy of Dianne Bacelonia

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday criticized the acquittal of Janet Napoles in 16 graft and corruption cases related to the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, describing it a “sad day for public accountability and anti-graft efforts.”

In a statement, Hontiveros also called that Napoles’ acquittal was an “offense” to the Filipino people.

“It is an offense to the Filipino public that Janet Napoles’ sentence is diluted and is incommensurate to the gravity of the corruption she engineered because the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence,” she said.

The senator expressed hope that the acquittal of Napoles would not discourage the Senate and law enforcement from “continuously pushing for investigations and exposés that shed a harsh and necessary light on corruption ploys.”

“Our countrymen continue to suffer because of corruption. We should continue depriving these avaricious appetites, and not sating them,” she said.

On Monday, the Sandiganbayan’s first division acquitted Napoles on 16 graft and corruption charges related to the pork barrel of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla.

Revilla has been acquitted of the same charges in 2021.

In a separate ruling, the Sandiganbayan’s second division convicted Napoles of two counts of graft and two counts of malversation related to the misuse of the late former Davao Del Sur 1st district Rep. Douglas Cagas.

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