Napoles attends bail hearing in Mandaluyong correctional
Accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles faced witnesses in her orange prisoner’s garb Friday at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City for the bail hearing of her plunder case.
She is serving life sentence at the women’s correctional after being convicted guilty for the serious illegal detention of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy.
The Sandiganbayan is conducting the hearing at the correctional because the Supreme Court has yet to respond to the antigraft court’s request to allow her to attend the proceedings in one of its courtrooms in Quezon City.
Sandiganbayan Third Division Clerk of Court Atty. Dennis Pulma on Thursday said the justices will conduct Friday’s hearing in a medium security courtroom within the correctional complex.
Cameras, cellphones, and other electronic gadgets are not allowed in the courtroom, Pulma said. Cameramen were also cordoned several meters from the hallway where Napoles would be passing to get to the courtroom.
Pulma said Napoles’ former employee Merlina Suñas will take the witness stand on Friday.
Napoles, the accused architect of the scheme of pillaging lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks, has applied for bail before the antigraft court for plunder, a non-bailable offense.
The pork barrel scam case has resulted in the detention of Napoles, Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile, and former representatives Edgar Valdez and Rizalina Seachon Lanete, and their aides for allegedly conniving with each other to earn kickbacks.
Napoles was convicted to serve life sentence on the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy, her former entrusted finance officer who blew the lid off the alleged scam.
In August 2013, Luy accused Napoles, a cousin, and her brother of illegally detaining him at Bahay ni San Jose and at the South Garden Pacific Towers in Taguig City, a Catholic retreat house in Magallanes Village, Makati City, after they reportedly found out that Luy was having separate business transactions allegedly involving lawmakers’ PDAF. DPL
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