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Despite high cost, PNP will maintain heavy security for Napoles

/ 06:07 PM March 06, 2014

UNDER TIGHT GUARD Janet Lim-Napoles, principal suspect in the P10-billion pork scam, wears a bulletproof vest and hooded sweatshirt as she arrives for a medical checkup at PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City, on Wednesday. LEONITO NAVALES/PNP-PIO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police will maintain the heavy security given to Janet Lim-Napoles despite it being relatively expensive and excessive, a police official said Thursday.

During the hearing of Senate probe ‎on the multi-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima asked the PNP to revisit the security arrangements whenever Napoles travels outside her detention cell in Fort Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

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“Kung medyo OA, then make it an appropriate one, kung ano ang commensurate sa status niya (If the security for Napoles is OA (overacting or exaggerated), then make it an appropriate one, one that is commensurate to her status),” De Lima said.

Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP Public Information Office chief, pointed out ‎the PNP “respects and honors the suggestion” of De Lima.

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However, Sindac maintained that the PNP is merely following certain protocols in its security operations for high-risk detainees.

In a separate interview, he revealed that the PNP spends an estimated P120,000 each time Napoles travels ‎for her trials in Court, appearance in Senate and the latest, her medical check-up due to a mass in her abdomen.

Sindac said the PNP would leave the decision to Special Action Force, the primary police unit responsible in Napoles’ security, whether they would minimize the security personnel and trim down costs provided for the detained businessman.

“We cannot give a price tag for the safety and security of high-risk detainees like Napoles,” he added.

Despite the calls to transfer Napoles to a city jail for economic reasons, Sindac defended that the police will “leave no stone unturned” with regard to the safety of Napoles.

“We would not want to wait for the time that something will happen to her and it would be blamed on our organization,” he explained.

In reaction to critics saying Napoles is more heavily-guarded than President Benigno Aquino III, Sindac argued that the trips of businesswoman are not as frequent and regular as that of Aquino.

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“As o‎f now she only had three regular trips outside of the detention cell. The fourth one as an emergency, which did not entail much expense,” he said.

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TAGS: Janet Lim Napoles, Leila de Lima, Napoles, PDAF scam, Pork barrel, pork barrel scam, Priority Development Assistance Fund, security measures, Senate, Senate probe
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