Sandiganbayan insists on Napoles’ transfer to Correctional
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan First Division on Friday insisted that convicted pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles should be transferred to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) to start spending her sentence.
This development came after the anti-graft court junked Napoles’ motion, requesting the court to let her stay at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Camp Bagong Diwa.
The claim of Napoles’ camp is that the transfer order had a defect because a junior justice, Associate Justice Edgardo Caldona, signed it instead of First Division chair Efren dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz said that there is no problem with the transfer order, which should have been implemented since December 28, because junior justices can sign documents when the division chairperson is on official leave.
It was initially believed that Napoles is already inside the CIW, as the court had given authorities time to implement the order.
Her request to remain at the BJMP facility was borne from claims of “grave threat to her life and security,” saying that she has experienced such when she was inside the CIW before.
Sandiganbayan rejected Napoles’ plea as she failed to prove the presence of threats.
Napoles, along with lawyer Richard Cambe who was former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla’s aide, were convicted last December 7 of plunder, for using P224 million of Revilla’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) on fake non-government organizations (NGOs).
Both were sentenced to serve 40 years of jail time while being perpetually disqualified to hold public office.
Revilla on the other hand was acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove his direct involvement in the pork barrel scam.
The decision from the Special First Division banked on testimonies from Napoles’ employees, who said right-hand man and state witness Benhur Luy falsified Revilla’s signature.
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