Napoles appeals denial of bail plea in Jinggoy Estrada plunder case
Accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles appealed the denial of her bail in the plunder case of Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, pointing instead at the whistleblowers who she claimed were the perpetrators of the alleged scam.
In her motion for reconsideration filed before the anti-graft court Fifth Division, Napoles through her counsels said the whistleblowers, led by her finance officer Benhur Luy, were the incorporators and presidents in the alleged bogus foundations that implemented ghost projects.
Napoles also said the court erred in considering that she owned and controlled these NGOs.
“It is apparent and obvious that Benhur and the other whistleblowers were the ones directly and personally responsible for the said alleged anomalous transactions. It is farfetched and very perplexing that they would be very knowledgeable about the ‘modus operandi’ if they were not the ones who perpetrated the crimes complained of them,” her motion said.
Napoles said the whistleblowers are those in cahoots with each other and were bent on pinning her for the scam.
“Benhur and the other whistleblowers are the ones in cahoots with each other. And to save them from their wrongdoings, they conveniently seek to blame accused Janet Lim Napoles for their unlawful activity,” Napoles said.
The court also erred in considering the daily disbursement records (DDR) and summary of rebates of Luy in denying Napoles’ bail, her motion said.
This is because there are inconsistencies between Luy’s DDR, or printed files from his external hard drive, and a summary of rebates sourced from the DDR.
Napoles cited a 2005 entry in Luy’s records showing a commission received by alleged agent Ruby Tuason, even though Tuason testified that she only served as a bagman for Senator Estrada in 2004 and 2008.
Napoles also said the prosecution failed to prove the reliability of the hard drive.
The court likewise failed to note that one special allotment release order (Saro) was not supported by a disbursement voucher.
Napoles also opposed the inclusion of a 2004 Saro because this was not included in the information against her.
“Wherefore, premises considered, it is respectfully prays unto this Honorable Court that the Resolution promulgated on Jan. 7 2016 be reversed and set aside, and that an order be issued granting accused Napoles’ petition for bail for the failure of the prosecution to present a strong evidence against her,” her motion said.
The court denied the bail of Napoles with her principal accused Estrada.
The court called Napoles and Estrada the “apex of the PDAF scam.”
Estrada is accused of receiving P183 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) through alleged ghost projects using the bogus foundations of Napoles.
He is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center with colleague Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. Revilla’s bail plea was denied by the Sandiganbayan in Dec. 2014 just months after he surrendered June 2014.
The denial of bail dashed Estrada’s hopes because the detained senator earlier expressed confidence that he would be granted bail like in the jueteng case of his father the deposed President Joseph Estrada. IDL
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