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SolGen Calida hits back at Pangilinan, Hontiveros for questioning Napoles acquittal

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Thursday lashed out at Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros for expressing their opposition to the acquittal of businesswoman Janet Napoles in the serious illegal detention case filed by her former aide and cousin Benhur Luy.

In a series of tweets, Calida wondered why Pangilinan and Hontiveros were "agitated" over the reversal of Napoles' conviction by the Court of Appeals (CA).

Calida then asked if the two lawmakers were "hiding skeletons" in their closet.

Following the release of the CA's decision, Pangilinan said the ruling could hurt the testimony of Luy in the cases alleging Napoles' involvement in the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of lawmakers.

The senator also criticized Calida for backing Napoles' acquittal when he told the CA last January that the evidence presented by the prosecution did not support the conviction.

Hontiveros, on the other hand, said the acquittal has set into motion the possible release from prison of "all those responsible for plundering the nation's coffers." She also called the development "a sad day for all those pushing for justice and accountability."

Calida earlier hailed the ruling, saying justice prevailed in the case.

According to Calida, the conduct and behavior of Luy during the period of his alleged detention from December 20, 2012 to March 22, 2013 was inconsistent with his claim that he was detained or deprived of his liberty.

The top government lawyer added the OSG has also previously recommended the acquittal of the accused in appealed criminal cases whenever the evidence falls short of the proof beyond reasonable doubt required in criminal cases. —KBK, GMA News