Napoles’ children to be arraigned for graft in pork barrel case
MANILA, Philippines–The Sandiganbayan has set the arraignment of the children of alleged pork barrel scan mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In a resolution released on Friday, the anti-graft third division set the arraignment on November 19 at 1:30 p.m.
This after the court junked the motion for reconsideration filed by James Christopher Napoles and his sister Jo Christine for lack of merit.
In their motion for reconsideration, Napoles’ children said there was no evidence to show that they conspired with their mother in the alleged scheme of 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 was a “polluted source” because she admitted to participating in the alleged scam.
Napoles’ children also said that the evidence did not show that they had any personal or official transactions with the accused public officials.
The court ruled that the accused’s claims are premature in the preliminary stages of the case.
The court said these issues are best discussed during the trial proper of the case.
“To begin with, it is premature to discuss the issue regarding the credibility of the said whistleblowers. The issue as to whether these prosecution witnesses are telling the truth is best ventilated during the trial of the case,” the resolution read.
The Napoles siblings had asked the court to defer their arraignment originally set on October 13. The court then deferred the arraignment pending the replies of the prosecution and defense panels on the motion.
Both Christopher and Jo Christine posted bail while their mother Janet was being detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward for allegedly masterminding the scam.
Janet Napoles, Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile are all facing plunder charges over the pork barrel imbroglio. Enrile is under hospital arrest while Estrada and Revilla are detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center.
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