SolGen Calida: Injustice done to Napoles | Inquirer News

SolGen Calida: Injustice done to Napoles

/ 05:32 PM February 15, 2017

Jose Calida

Solicitor General Jose Calida. TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo

“Injustice was done to Janet Lim Napoles,” top government lawyer said Wednesday.

Government lawyers led by Solicitor General Jose Calida sought a reversal of Napoles’ conviction for serious illegal detention for lack of evidence.


In 2015, Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, was convicted by Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 and sentenced her to a jail term of up to 40 years for charges of serious illegal detention filed by Benhur Luy, her cousin and trusted aide.


READ: What Went Before: Serious illegal detention charge vs Napoles

Napoles appealed the lower court’s decision to the Court of Appeals. Since it is a People of the Philippines case, the Solicitor General was ordered to respond.

“The OSG (Office of the Solicitor General) is the defender of the Republic and at the same time the tribune of the people. I am a servant of the law and I took an oath to uphold the rule of law,” Calida said in a press conference.

Calida said they reviewed the case of Napoles and found out that there were many instances to support Napoles’ acquittal.

READ: SolGen Calida moves to acquit Napoles in illegal detention of Luy

“We will not do justice if we will not make right what is wrong,” he said.

“Justice will not send an innocent person to the gallows. It is my bound duty to state the facts,” he added.

Luy accused Napoles of detaining him at Bahay ni San Jose in Magallanes Village. He said Napoles detained him to prevent him from spilling the beans about the pork barrel scam.


However, Calida said records of the case did not show any witness testifying and confirming about Luy’s detention.

Contrary to Luy’s claim, he said there are evidence showing that while in the retreat house, his family was able to visit him, he can use mobile phones and even go out with friends. He added that Luy resisted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which was supposed to rescue him.

“So you can see the conduct of Benhur Luy belie the fact that he was detained,” Calida said.

“Can your conscience say that she should be convicted?” he asked.

But Calida clarified that they never filed their manifestation for the purpose of acquitting Napoles.

“We want the Court of Appeals to know what is our opinion on the matterid,” Calida said.

He said it is still the Court of Appeals’ discretion if it will consider their manifestation.

Calida also denied that the Solicitor General’s move was a favor considering that Napoles’ lawyer was reportedly close to President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said the OSG is only doing their mandate. They are reviewing other cases and they will not hesitate to file a similar manifestation if the facts of any case calls for it.

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TAGS: Benhur Luy, OSG

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