Atty. Lorna Kapunan (right) withdrew as legal council of Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of P10B pork barrel scam. - Photo by Philippine Daily Inquirer
Atty. Lorna Kapunan (right) withdrew as legal council of Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of P10B pork barrel scam. – Photo by Philippine Daily Inquirer

Manila – Lawyer Lorna Kapunan made headlines when she withdrew yesterday as one of Janet Napoles’ legal counsels in the latter’s serious illegal detention case.

According to Kapunan, the difference of opinion on strategies was the reason of her withdrawal from the case. She further stated that she and Atty. Alfredo Villamor, Napoles’ another counsel, have different approach on handling the case.

“We respect his decision because he was the one who handled the case in the lower court but we don’t agree the way the case is being handled,” said Kapunan.

She said Villamor would continue handling the case, since he was more familiar with it.

Kapunan added that her decision to withdraw as the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind’s legal counsel was mutually agreed upon.

However, her decision to leave did not mean that she found her client guilty or she was pressured with the case.

“The people who know us, the people who know the reputation of our law firm, know that pressure has never been a factor,” Kapunan said.

As part of her filing of resignation, Kapunan said she went to court Wednesday morning to inform the judge and the prosecution panel that lawyer Alfredo Villamor will handle Napoles’ case.

For the meantime, Kapunan said she just needed Napoles’ written conforme before formally withdrawing as her counsel in the case filed by the justice department at Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court.

On the other hand, Kapunan gave assurance that Napoles will be attending the Senate hearing on pork barrel scam on November 7.

Silence reigns

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima told the reporters that she does not know the reason behind Kapunan’s withdrawal from Napoles’ case.

Moreover, Prosecution lawyer Christopher Garvida declined to talk about Kapunan’s withdrawal since they are not allowed to say anything on the matter.

On the other hand, Lawyer Diosfa Valencia, Branch 150 clerk of court, said that based on court records, Kapunan remains to be Napoles’ counsel as long as the court has not issued yet an order granting Kapunan’s motion.

Once the court grants the motion, Napoles can hire another counsel or simply stick with Villamor. (Mary Sharmaine I. Gabornes, ABCom/LNU)