MANILA, Philippines — Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Elmo Alameda denied, on Monday afternoon, the motion to inhibit from the serious illegal detention case against detained Janet Lim-Napoles, now at the center of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, and her brother Reynald Lim due to lack of merit.
In a three-page order, Judge Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 said “there is no just or valid reason for him to inhibit at this stage of the proceeding.”
Alameda insisted that he could still maintain “the cold neutrality of an impartial judge” at this point.
The motions for voluntary inhibition were earlier filed separately by Napoles and her brother who remains at large with a P5-million reward for information on his whereabouts. Both their counsels doubt Alameda’s impartiality given that the warrants of arrest were issued “with undue haste.”
Napoles was charged with serious illegal detention for allegedly abducting her former aide, Benhur Luy, who knew a lot about the pork barrel scam operations. Luy, who was eventually let go by Napoles, is now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation, which will use his testimony as an evidence against Napoles in the pork barrel case.