SC: Napoles plea for release, house arrest over COVID fears denied | Inquirer News

SC: Napoles plea for release, house arrest over COVID fears denied

/ 07:51 PM June 16, 2021
SC: Napoles plea for release over COVID fears denied

Janet Lim Napoles: Her constitutional rights and other legal rights end after her conviction. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court has denied pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles’ motion to be released on bail or recognizance or a house arrest for a humanitarian reason due to COVID-19.

Napoles, along with deceased lawyer Richard Cambe, was convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan Special First Division for allocating over P200-million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla.


In her urgent motion, Napoles said she is at risk of contracting Covid-19 inside the prison due to her Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension, an underlying Covid-19 health condition.

She said since there are compelling reasons to support her acquittal from plunder, she has the right to seek the application of the Office of the Court of Administrator Circular No. 91-2020, which mandates the enforcement of an accused right to bail and speedy trial.


She also raised the “Nelson Mandela Rules” that provide the basis for releasing persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in times of public health emergencies.

But the high court, in denying her request, said, “the presumption of innocence and the constitutional right to bail end after the accused’s conviction or a capital offense.”

The high court added that there are “no compelling reasons to justify a provisional release on ‘humanitarian grounds.'”

It explained that the circular from the Office of the Court Administrator is not a blanket order to release all persons deprived of liberty due to COVID-19.

“It merely reminds the trial courts to effectively implement the existing policies laid down by the Constitution to effectively implement the existing policies laid down by the Constitution and the laws regarding the accused’s right to bail,” the high court said.

It added that the Nelson Mandela rule does not provide sufficient basis to grant bail post-conviction.

The high court also pointed out that “the Constitutional and statutory requisites for the grant of bail are neither suspended nor supplanted by the existence of a pandemic.



Revilla acquitted; Napoles, Cambe convicted of plunder charges


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: COVID-19, Janet Lim Napoles, Pork barrel
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.