Napoles now in Correctional
Plunder convict Janet Lim-Napoles has officially begun doing time at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City.
“The time of imprisonment in the institution will commence from Dec. 27, 2018,” according to the mittimus, or commitment order, signed by Associate Justice Edgardo M. Caldona of the Sandiganbayan First Division.
The order was released on Friday, Dec. 28, for authorities to carry out her transfer.
Earlier on Dec. 19, the court denied Napoles’ plea to be allowed to remain at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Napoles argued that the Dec. 7 decision convicting her of pocketing the P124.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations of former Sen. Bong Revilla was “not yet final.”
She said she faced “grave threats to her life and security” because her “high-profile” cases involved “high-ranking public officials.”
She claimed to have “experienced threats” when she previously did time at the CIW from April 2015 to May 2017 for the crime of serious illegal detention of main pork barrel scam witness Benhur Luy.
Her conviction was reversed by the Court of Appeals, partly due to the recommendation of Solicitor General Jose Calida.
The Sandiganbayan, however, said Napoles failed to “substantiate” her claims “with concrete and convincing proof,” adding that she only made “self-serving allegations.”
Her fellow convict, Revilla’s legislative officer Richard Cambe, was already transferred to the New Bilibid Prison after the promulgation of the Dec. 7 verdict convicting him and Napoles.
40-year jail term
Cambe, who was previously detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, did not appeal the court’s issuance of a mittimus.
Both Napoles and Cambe were sentenced to imprisonment of a maximum of 40 years.
The acquitted Revilla walked free on Dec. 7 after four and a half years of detention in the PNP facility.
On Dec. 13, he said his legislative agenda would focus on “countering the false accusers” should he win in next year’s elections.
In her appeal at the Sandiganbayan on Friday, Napoles continued to try to discredit the testimony of Luy and the other witnesses.
Napoles sought to paint her former employees as the main players in the scam.
Records of funds disbursed by Luy to Revilla, Napoles’ camp said, could not stand as evidence because they were not signed and “do not prove the supposed entries found therein.”
Napoles also questioned the reliability of the external hard drive where the electronic file was stored, arguing that it was first given to Luy’s relatives and then to lawyer Levito Baligod before being turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation on Jan. 27, 2014.
“As the legal adage goes, it is better that 10 guilty men escape than one innocent suffer,” she concluded.