Sandiganbayan junks Napoles plea anew
The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has dismissed for “utter lack of merit” the petition of convicted plunderer Janet Lim-Napoles seeking a reversal of her conviction for corruption involving a former congressman’s pork barrel funds.
In a five-page resolution on Aug. 8, the antigraft court denied Napoles’ motion for reconsideration contesting the court’s resolution last month that also junked her plea for a reversal of her guilty verdict for plunder.
Napoles and former APEC party list Rep. Edgar Valdez both faced plunder and seven related graft charges over P57 million worth of kickbacks from Valdez’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that the Supreme Court deemed to be pork barrel allocations.
In July, the same Sandiganbayan division denied Napoles’ memorandum seeking an acquittal of her plunder case because it did not follow rules of procedure.
Napoles’ memorandum also contained Transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSNs) on the testimony of the PDAF scam whistleblower Benhur Luy. She asked that the court take judicial notice of the TSNs.
She further argued that taking judicial notice to the TSNs is “valid since it involves voluminous records,” which were not turned over to her new counsel.
Napoles also reiterated to the court that filing of a memorandum, a summation of arguments made by both the defense and prosecution that should be filed after the presentation of witnesses and evidence, is “not mandatory.”
The court, however, was not convinced with the arguments raised by Napoles in her appeal.
“We reiterate that accused Napoles failed to present any plausible reason of the belated filing of her memorandum,” read the resolution written by Associate Justice Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Maryann Corpus-Mañalac and Rafael Lagos, the division chair.