Court hears Napoles’ plea for transfer to ‘safer’ jail
MANILA, Philippines—The Makati Regional Trial Court heard on Friday afternoon Janet Lim-Napoles’ request for transfer to “safer” jail facilities for “sufficient protection.”
Television and radio reports said the Makati RTC Branch 150 heard two motions filed by Napoles – one for the voluntary inhibition of Judge Elmo Alameda and another for reconsideration of the court’s commitment order to put her under the custody of the Makati City Jail.
On Thursday, Napoles’ lawyers filed a petition before the Makati court for her transfer to “safer” jail facilities like Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City or Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Her lawyers said there was “clear danger to her life.”
To bolster the case for Napoles’ transfer, her lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, presented in court on Friday Makati city jail warden Fermin Enriquez, who admitted that the facility “cannot guarantee the safety, 24/7″ of Napoles.
Enriquez cited lack of personnel at the jail to secure a “high-profile” suspect such as Napoles.
Enriquez suggested the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig city, or a detention facility in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Kapunan also called to the witness stand Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who was the lead escort in Napoles’ transfer from Camp Crame to the Makati City Jail on Thursday night.
Asked to suggest an alternative detention place, Fajardo recommended Fort Santo Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Asked on what security risks he thought Napoles faced in jail, Fajardo replied, “From what I know, since [Napoles] will be implicating a lot of higher officials, the threat is very real.”
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II, in a television interview, said they will follow the decision of the court though he said they would make sure that Napoles would be safe.
“We want her to be alive to face the charges…or to be able to give testimony, evidence, additional strengthening to the government’s case on the anti-corruption issue,” Roxas said.
Napoles’ lawyers had also requested Judge Elmo Alameda to inhibit from the case as they questioned the immediate issuance of arrest warrants against her and brother, Reynald Lim, Radyo Inquirer 990AM reported.
Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion “pork barrel” scam, surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night after two weeks of being hunted down by the police for illegal detention charges of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Originally posted at 10:51 a.m.