No stopping Napoles arraignment
The arraignment of Janet Lim-Napoles on charges of serious illegal detention will push through on its original scheduled date of Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m., a Makati trial court judge has ruled.
In an order released late Friday afternoon, Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda denied for “lack of merit” the motions filed on Sept. 4 by Napoles’ lawyers to suspend court proceedings and defer her arraignment.
Sufficient and valid
Alameda also denied for lack of merit an “urgent motion for a bill of particulars” filed by the Napoles camp on Sept. 3. The motion asked that the prosecution be directed to specify the details regarding the serious illegal detention charge filed by Napoles’ cousin and former employee Benhur Luy, saying that they were “vague and unclear.”
According to the judge, “The court finds the information in the present case to be sufficient and valid. It is clear that the information validly charged the accused with the offense of serious illegal detention.”
Brother’s motion denied
Alameda also junked the motion to suspend proceedings filed on Sept. 2 by the lawyers of Napoles’ coaccused in the case, her brother Reynald Lim, who remains at large.
In his six-page decision, Alameda said: “Both of the accused are not entitled to the reliefs sought in their motions.”
Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna province. Whistle-blowers, Luy among them, have described her as the mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Meanwhile, the Napoles camp on Friday submitted a reply-affidavit in the preliminary investigation of the perjury case she had filed against Luy.
Manila City Assistant Prosecutor Philger Noel Inovejas said Napoles had filed three cases of perjury against Luy, her former employee Merlina Suñas, and Luy’s parents and siblings over their allegations of serious illegal detention against her and their claims that she masterminded the pork barrel scam.
Inovejas, however, declined to give out copies of the affidavits pending resolution of the investigation.
Napoles’ reply-affidavit, which was subscribed to before a notary public in Laguna where she is being held, was submitted by her lawyers Tristan Ysaak Zoleta and Takahiro Kenjie Aman.
The city prosecutor ordered the respondents to submit their rejoinder-affidavit on Sept. 20, after which the perjury case will be submitted for resolution. With a report from Erika Sauler