SC upholds Ombudsman decision to indict Napoles’ staff member for graft, plunder

(Eagle News) — The Supreme Court has upheld the Office of the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause for plunder and graft against a member of the staff of alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles.

In dismissing Robert John Lim’s petition assailing the Ombudsman’s March 28, 2014 joint resolution and June 4, 2014 order, the SC said he “miserably failed to show” that the anti-graft body gravely abused its discretion in issuing such rulings.

According to the SC, Lim’s arguments have already been addressed in the case against Richard Cambe, who was also charged separately in connection with the pork barrel scam.

In that case, the SC said the Sandiganbayan held that “as correctly pointed out by the Ombudsman,” whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas had revealed  Lim, whose case is still ongoing in the Sandiganbayan, was among the members of the staff of Napoles who would prepare and deliver the kickbacks allegedly intended for former Senator Bong Revilla.

It added that it was proper for the Ombudsman to consider Lim’s non-filing of a counter-affidavit before the anti-graft body as a waiver of his right to file the same, meaning the allegations in the complaint against him remain uncontroverted.

The SC also noted that the petition for certiorari filed by Lim before the SC was “premature as there are remedies before the Sandiganbayan that are still available to Lim at this point.”

The verdict on the Revilla and Cambe case is expected in December.