PNP ‘sanitizes’ possible routes to Napoles’ arraignment

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Janet Lim-Napoles. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines—The Philippine National Police said Saturday it has conducted security checks on possible routes between Laguna and Metro Manila in preparation for Monday’s arraignment of Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of a P10-billion pork barrel scam, on a charge illegal detention.

Without disclosing specifics, PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac said the police were ready to provide security for Napoles “from detention to court, against all possible scenarios.” These include bad weather condition, rallies, or any possible “obstruction,” he said.

Napoles, whose motion to defer the proceedings was turned down by the court, is set to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the Makati Regional Trial Court. She has been detained at Fort Sto. Domingo,  training camp of the PNP Special Action Force in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, since September 1 in connection with charges of serious illegal detention.

She is accused of kidnapping her former aide Friday Benhur Luy,  who subsequently turned whistle-blower and exposed the alleged diversion of  legislators’ pork barrel funds to Napoles’ bogus non-governmental organizations.

Sindac did not provide the exact time Napoles would be leaving Laguna on Monday. He also refused to say, in a telephone interview, if transporting her in a helicopter was being considered.

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group went to Sta. Rosa City on Saturday, while SAF deputy director Police Senior Superintendent Nilo Taliño was in Makati City to inspect areas within the vicinity of the Makati RTC, Sindac said.

Sindac said Taliño took over the handling of the security plan for the Napoles arraignment in place of SAF director Chief Superintendent Carmelo Valmoria, who is currently in Zamboanga City due to the continuing fighting between government troops and guerrillas of the Moro National Liberation Front.

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