We knew enough things, Napoles maid explains her detention
For 10 years, Dominga Cadelina slept on the floor, at the foot of the bed of Janet Lim-Napoles.
“She did not want to be left alone in her room while she slept,” said the 56-year-old Cadelina.
But early this year, Cadelina was accused of theft by Napoles for allegedly stealing her signature panties, bras, bags and a jacket.
This was while Benhur Luy, a cousin and personal aide of the businesswoman, was reportedly being held captive by Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim, for allegedly pocketing P300,000 she had asked him to deposit in her bank account.
Cadelina was detained by Napoles’ brother on Jan. 29 this year. The following day, Assistant City Prosecutor Michella Veluz indicted Cadelina and charged her with qualified theft. She has been held without bail since.
Lim, who is in hiding for the alleged illegal detention of Luy, in an affidavit to the Makati court admitted that he “arrested” Cadelina on Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. in the house of Napoles on No. 9 Narra St., Forbes Park.
“We knew enough things,” Cadelina told the Inquirer, explaining why she and Luy were detained.
“We were longtime employees and we had heard and seen a lot of bad things that’s why she wanted to keep us away,” Cadelina told the Inquirer after a hearing on Tuesday on the qualified theft case filed against her by Jimmy Napoles, the husband of Janet, in Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 145.
She was charged with stealing four pieces of Maidenform underwear ($800), YSL jacket ($8,000), two Balenciaga clutch bags ($3,600) and YSL bag ($2,800).
Cadelina said she did not see Napoles when her employer was detained overnight at the Makati City Jail, following the surrender of the businesswoman to President Aquino last month after a court issued a warrant for her arrest for the illegal detention of Luy and she disappeared for two weeks.
Cadelina, who has been in the Makati jail for eight months, said she had “mixed emotions” about the situation of her former employer—“pity and joy.”
Bags of money in bathtub
As a maid in the Napoles household, she said she saw bags of money in her employer’s bathtub, and had helped count the bills and store these in her vault.
“When one of her close aides left because she was also accused of stealing, she asked me to help her put the money in the vault. I counted P27 million in the vault, twice,” she said.
“She accused all of her aides of stealing from her that was why they all left,” the maid said.
Cadelina said part of her job was to attend to Napoles’ needs and also that of her guests.
“Clothes and underwear were lent to visitors who slept over and I am in charge of them,” Cadelina said.
As Napoles’ personal maid, Cadelina claimed her job was to accompany her in the bathroom to ensure she did not slip and to hand to her a towel and other things she needed.
Lim claimed he detained Cadelina when he saw items owned by his sister which the maid allegedly took out from an eco-bag and placed in a balikbayan box in the garage.
He added that he tailed Cadelina when she left Napoles’ unit in Pacific Plaza Tower based on the tip from his brother-in-law, Jimmy.
Public attorney Persida Acosta, Cadelina’s lawyer, said the receipts submitted by Napoles’ lawyer to the court showed “plenty of discrepancies.”
“The list of evidence was tampered with and the prices were bloated and erroneous,” according to Acosta.
“For example, the panty, they say was worth $200 each, but in the brochure they submitted it was, $25. This is true for the other items,” she added.
“Lim’s family has a penchant for violating their housemaids’ rights not to mention possibly silencing or threatening their workers by either detaining them or falsely charging them with a crime,” Acosta said.
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