MANILA — The Supreme Court upheld the findings of probable cause against Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the alleged pork barrel queen of scam Janet Lim Napoles.
This after the SC upheld the findings of probable cause against Napoles in connection with the said anomaly which indicted them for plunder, malversation and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan.
During the deliberations of the high court en banc on Tuesday, it dismissed the petition for certiorari of Napoles in three separate cases and gave credence with the prima facie evidence found by the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against her.
Napoles sought to annul and set aside the joint resolution of the Ombudsman alleging it was issued with grave abuse of discretion.
In its ruling, the SC said that their petitions should be dismissed for lack of merit.
The Ombudsman indicted Napoles on the basis of the allegation that they were involved in the affairs of her fake non-government organizations (NGOs) that allegedly transacted with the utilization of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of senators and congressmen.
Napoles elevated to the SC the pending cases which originated from the Sandiganbayan.
“The Court, in a minute resolution, Dismissed the petition challenging the Ombudsman’s Resolution dated June 22, 2015 and Order dated February 10, 2016 finding probable cause to indict petition for three counts of violation of Section 3e of RA 3019, three counts of Malversation of Public Funds under Article 217 RPC, and two counts of corruption of public officials under Article 212, RPC,” the SC resolution said.
The SC said that it was within the powers of the Ombudsman to investigate and file the necessary cases if it found probable cause.
The SC added that it could not interfere with the findings of the Ombudsman in the exercise of its investigatory and prosecutory powers.
“The power to determine whether a complaint is sufficient in form and substance is lodged with the Ombudsman, who may continue with the inquiry or dismiss outright. The exercise of this power is rarely disturbed in view of this Court’s policy of non-interference in the Ombudsman’s exercise of its investigatory and prosecutory powers,” the SC said. (PNA / Perfecto T. Raymundo)