Latest Stories

Bishop questions special treatment

By ,

Fr. Chito Vicente raises a fist as priests, nuns and lay leaders hold a rally outside Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City on Tuesday demanding the abolition of the pork barrel. They also called on the government to prosecute and punish the masterminds behind the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. RAFFY LERMA

A Catholic bishop on Tuesday questioned the special treatment being given by the government to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, saying she should be treated like a common prisoner and should not enjoy the same privileges given to former President Joseph Estrada and Moro rebel leader Nur Misuari who were also detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna province.

“It’s so obvious that the treatment given to Napoles is very far from how a common prisoner is treated. That’s why we are asking, why? Why is she being protected so much? Why has she been given so much importance? She’s been elevated to [Estrada] and Misuari’s level,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo told reporters.

Pabillo also said the government should not be distracted by giving VIP treatment to Napoles in ensuring that the prosecution of all those involved in the P10-billion pork barrel scam would not be slowed down.

“What is important in this issue is that the process must be fast-tracked because the longer it takes, the more complications will occur,” the prelate added.

Pabillo was also wary of plans to hold court hearings at Fort Sto. Domingo instead of being held at the Makati Regional Trial Court, saying it might compromise transparency.

“Is that a transparent move? If they will hold the proceedings there, will there be transparency?” he asked.

Senate President Franklin Drilon earlier proposed to hold the arraignment and trial of Napoles at Fort Sto. Domingo where the training school of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) is also located.

 Mum on proposal

But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was mum on Drilon’s proposal.

De Lima said it would be the Makati City Regional Trial Court, which was trying the serious illegal detention case against Napoles, that would make that determination.

She said she would consult with the team of prosecutors in charge of the case against Napoles whether they would oppose or agree to the change of venue.

“I don’t want to make a stand at this point without consulting the prosecuting team,” De Lima told reporters.

Drilon made the proposal to cut costs for the government and ensure full security for Napoles.


Common sense

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said it was “common sense” that somebody could be planning to silence Napoles due to her alleged involvement in the anomalous disbursement of billions of pesos in pork barrel, formally called the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Roxas brushed off insinuations that the government was overreacting in providing tight security to Napoles.

“It’s common sense, isn’t it? She knows many things. She may also be keeping many [pieces of] evidence, red book, blue book or other documents like canceled checks,” Roxas told reporters at Camp Crame.

“It’s possible that someone would try to silence her permanently,” he stressed.

“On the part of the government, two things may happen: We can prepare for it and let her face the full force of the law or something might happen to her and the people will accuse the government of conniving with those who wanted her dead,”  Roxas said.


Not for personal interest

But Bishop Efraim Tendero, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, said that while it was understandable why the government was giving Napoles protection, it must not be done for personal interest.

“We understand where the special treatment [being given to Napoles] is coming from … since she is the [alleged] mastermind, she can be the key to finding out the truth,” Tendero said at a forum hosted by the Catholic Media Network in Manila yesterday.

“We see that she is being treated differently and we understand, but what is important is that this should not be used for the interest of the few,” the bishop added.

Whistle-blower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada Jr. on Tuesday said Napoles might cite her medical condition and seek hospital arrest like former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Laying predicate

“We can almost see the pattern. It’s laying the predicate. They are now priming the idea to the people that Janet Napoles is sick,” Lozada told the Inquirer.

“So why frame the idea that the next thing will happen is a hospital arrest for Napoles? I hope they won’t do it. But if they do, it will expose to the people who they truly are,” he said.

Lozada aired his suspicion after the Philippine National Police said Napoles suffered from hypertension early on Tuesday.

Senior Supt. Reuben Thedore Sindac, PNP spokesperson, said Napoles’ blood pressure shot up to 200/130 around 4:53 a.m. and that she complained of headache and nausea.

After taking medication, Sindac said Napoles’ blood pressure dropped to 140/80.

In his text message to the media, the PNP official referred to Napoles as a “patient.”

“Patient JLN (Napoles’ initials) complained about a tingling sensation [on] her left face,” Sindac said.

On Monday, a police doctor said Napoles had an “anxiety attack” during her first night in the bungalow inside the training school of the PNP Special Action Force.

Quoting the staff doctor, Sindac disclosed that Napoles was claustrophobic, which may have caused her anxiety attack. With a report from Christine O. Avendaño



Related Stories:

Napoles has new bank accounts, says ex-aide

Raps readied vs 2 NBI execs who tipped off Napoles

Barred, bare bungalow awaits next ‘star’ detainee

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Fr. Chito Vicente , Janet Lim Napoles , Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo , Mar Roxas , PDAF , Pork barrel , Priority Development Assistance Fund

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace