Napoles’ kids seek deferment of graft arraignment
MANILA, Philippines—The children of Janet Lim-Napoles have sought relief from the Sandiganbayan to defer their arraignment for graft and dismiss the case against them, claiming it lacked merit.
In a motion for reconsideration filed before the anti-graft court third division, Jo Christine and James Christopher Napoles said there is no evidence that they conspired with their mother in the pork barrel scam.
The alleged scheme involved diverting lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
They added that the charges against them were based on the testimony of whistleblower Marina Sula, who they said is a “polluted source.”
The Napoles children pointed out that Sula has admitted to participating in the alleged scam.
They added the evidence tagged the whistleblowers as being the officials of the dummy foundations in the perpetration of the scheme.
To stress their innocence, the Napoles children said the evidence does not show they had any personal or official transactions with the accused public officials.
“The allegation that Jo Christine and James Christopher Napoles acted in conspiracy with their co-accused is anchored on the dubious testimony of Marina Sula. It is not supported by any other independent evidence that would corroborate the contention that both accused acted in concert with their mother,” their motion read.
The accused then pinned the blame on the whistleblowers who admitted their hand in the scam but obtained immunity from charges for testifying.
“If there are conspirators in the instant case, evidently these are the witnesses being presented by the prosecution, and their guilt cannot be sheltered by testifying in his case. Their guilt has been established by their very own words,” it said.
The Napoles’ children then asked the court to defer their arraignment set on October 13 pending the court’s decision on their motion for reconsideration.
They also appealed for the dismissal of the graft charges against them for lack of merit.
The court’s special division of five in a resolutions said Jo Christine and James Christopher were found liable for participating in the alleged scam their mother purportedly masterminded.
Both of them had posted bail, while their mother Janet is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward as she faces plunder case.
Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile are also under police custody as they stand trial for plunder.
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