MANILA, Philippines — Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam, has asked the local court to allow her to post bail in the serious illegal detention charge filed against her and her brother ahead of the plunder cases filed on Monday at the Ombudsman.
In a 27-page urgent motion for bail filed at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, Napoles argued that the case against her lacked evidence and claimed that the complainant in the case, Benhur Luy, her cousin and the whistle-blower in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, and his lawyer, had used to case to extort money from her.
“The Honorable Court is duty-bound to allow accused Janet to post bail because the evidence of guilt against her is not strong,” the motion read.
She told the court that the serious illegal detention case against her was “obviously politically motivated,” and that the nuclear issue remained the alleged pork barrel scam.
On Monday, the DOJ filed charges of plunder, malversation, bribery, graft and corrupt practices in the Office of the Ombudsman against Napoles, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and 34 other people.
Napoles, on the other hand, claimed that the serious illegal detention charge at the Makati court, which earlier denied her motion to defer arraignment and suspend proceedings, was merely based on the tale of Luy.
She called Luy’s allegations as “mere speculation and is not backed by evidence.”
According to Napoles, Luy voluntarily stayed in Bahay ni San Jose for three months and was not illegally detained as claimed by Luy’s camp and the NBI.
“He wanted to have a retreat/recollection in solitude to atone for the wrongdoings he committed,” Napoles said noting that Luy had obtained loans amounting to P5 million from the Air Material Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc. (AMSLA) without her permission.
Napoles added that the Department of Justice earlier dismissed Luy’s complaint for lack of probable cause but “due to mounting pressure from the public,” issued a resolution reversing itself.
She also claimed that the charge was used to extort money from her.
According to her, Luy’s lawyer Levito Baligod had asked her to pay the money Luy and his family around $1.5 million needed in order to go to Canada in a meeting at the Makati Shangri-la on March 27, 2013.
Attached to the motion are copies of the screen-grabbed pictures, CCTV footages taken at the Pacific Plaza Tower, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on March 22 showing that there was no restraint on Luy’s movement.
She said Luy also resisted the “rescue attempt of the NBI agents” at the retreat house.
“Any person who has been detained for three months would seize the first opportunity to be rescued,” Napoles’ motion said.
Diosfa Valencia, the court clerk of Makati RTC Branch 150, said Judge Elmo Alameda scheduled the hearing on the motion on September 20, Friday.
Napoles who is presently detained at a police training camp in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, is scheduled to be arraigned on September 23 for the serious illegal detention charge, a non-bailable offense.