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    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Napoles Former Lawyer: I know many names in my mind

    By Atty. Bruce V. Rivera

    Many people do not understand that lawyers have what you call "attorney-client confidentiality". We cannot just divulge to the public anything that our clients will reveal us in the course of the engagement. However, when my name is dragged just to besmirch the President, I have to defend myself.

    Let me clarify that when I said that she is NOT guilty, it pertains to the decision of the court on the criminal case filed by Benhur Luy on the illegal detention charge now on appeal before the CA. As her lawyer in the case, I know that she did not detain Luy. And I can enumerate my reasons but the case is still subjudice. By subjudice, it means that when the case is still being tried, we cannot comment on it so we cannot influence the courts.

    First of all, it is not unusual that the OSG will make a comment on such matter. The CA can decide to let the SolGen give his opinion on a legal matter pertaining to the government. In this case, the nominal party in the case is People of the Philippines which the SolGen represents. And it also not shocking that the SolGen can make a stand that will not be in favor of the institutions. Remember SolGen Hilbay when he sided with Sen. Grace Poe on the citizenship issue instead of siding with the Comelec. And even with the statement of the SolGen Calida, it did not effectively acquit Napoles of the crime. The CA has not yet acquitted her. 

    Again, on illegal detention charges.

    Therefore, to cry and lament on the pork barrel cases, come out with a theory that I influenced the President to release Napoles, is not only annoying to me but is clearly out to destroy the President using me as the tool.

    Let me point out something that you may have not noticed. I do not go out of my way to meet the President, have a picture with him or be in his consciousness. I do not need to be in his good graces. I just want him to do his job. I do not want people to get the impression that I want to be rewarded that is why I supported him. And I never applied because I do not want my Napoles stint to be the liability of Duterte or burden him with my issues.

    I am not supportive of the President because I want Napoles free because I could not even say with certainty that I want her free. I have never backtracked on my words. She is not guilty of detaining Luy but I never said anything about her 
    Photo credits: Inquirer News

    innocence or guilt on the pork barrel scam. My only lament is that we only persecuted one person for the pork barrel and forgot about the others who played bigger roles and got more money. And with God as my witness, Duterte was never part of such complicity. Hence, he has no motivation to free her nor anger to persecute her. Duterte, perhaps, just wants to know the truth, like everyone and as the lawyer for Napoles, I am bound by my oath not to divulge what I know without her permission.

    And let me be clear, I have not been talking to her. There is a reason we do not talk which I am not at liberty to say. We have not talked since the middle of 2015. I supported Duterte without her knowledge and I have no obligation to tell her. I am just her lawyer. She is just my client. You can check the records of the correctional facility in Mandaluyong and check them the last time I visited her. So, what will I get if I will influence the President to let her out. Let me ask you.
    Her money or whats left of it has never been my motivation because when I took on the case, her accounts were already frozen and have never been unfrozen for me to benefit from. The AMLAC looked at my accounts and it was not frozen because there was no money that I received that cannot be explained.

    And do you really know how dangerous it is on my part if I had the audacity to tell the president to let Napoles out. Am I that influential that he would tell the OSG to say that. And if that was the plan all-along, would PRRD have kept me from openly campaigning for him so walang issue later on.

    I campaigned on my own. Nobody asked me. It was just unfortunate that I could gather a following by campaigning for Duterte despite admitting my Napoles connection. I do not even know if Napoles supported Duterte and I could not care less.

    But there is one thing I know, if Napoles speaks up and tells the truth. Duterte will be the last name you will hear coming out of her mouth as part of the scheme. But I know many names in my mind. And most of the names are part of the party that is being supported by those who are attempting to connect me, Napoles and Duterte in a malicious embrace.

    Source: Atty. Bruce V. Rivera

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