MANILA, Philippines - Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile has expressed concern that the ombudsman’s investigation of the pork barrel scam is a moro-moro or farce with a predetermined outcome, amid reports of a supposed memorandum tagging him as the mastermind.
In a letter sent to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Enrile’s legal team demanded an investigation into the alleged leak of the eight-page memo, and sought clarification if it was part of a 246-page report submitted to the ombudsman.
“This prosecutorial misconduct has converted the entire preliminary investigation
process into a moro-moro, with a pre-ordained outcome that will totally disregard any argument or evidence to be presented by Sen. Enrile,” the senator’s legal team said.
Enrile’s lawyers said there is no point in asking the senator to answer the accusations against him if the memo exists.
Enrile had demanded an apology and retraction of a news report quoting the memo. He also asked the Ombudsman to clarify the existence of the report, and provide him a copy of the memo.
“We are seriously concerned with the content of the memo. Whether existent or not, the mention of the supposed memo has already created tremendous prejudicial publicity against Senator Enrile,” his lawyers said.
“The theory seems to be that very lack of evidence against the senator forms the very proof of his guilt as the supposed mastermind,” they said.
Enrile’s camp also cited the prohibition against public disclosure under Republic Act 6770, also known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
His lawyers said the publication of the supposed memo is “obviously malicious since you knew very well, as confirmed by your earlier news report, that the preliminary investigation is just about to commence and subpoenas to the respondents are yet to be served.”
“You made it appear that there is already a final declaration from the Ombudsman office, that Senator Enrile is supposedly the mastermind of the pork scam,” Enrile’s lawyers said.
“The intent, therefore, is clearly to continue the wave of extensive prejudicial publicity against Sen. Enrile,” they added.
Enrile’s lawyers also wrote the Philippine Press Institute over the “false and biased” reporting against their client. They demanded that the PPI probe the newspaper article and sanction all those involved.