Photo credit to Janet Lim-Napoles' mugshots
Photo credit to Janet Lim-Napoles’ mugshots

MANILA, Philippines-Janet Lim Napoles, alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, was transferred from Camp Crame to a small, air-conditioned detention room inside the Makati City Jail on Thursday at around 11:20 p.m.

Escorted by two female Special Action Force police officers, Napoles, who wore a black bulletproof vest, left the Philippine National Police (PNP) national headquarters and arrived at the Makati City Jail, where she went through a medical check-up.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said Napoles, who is the 53rd inmate in a dormitory-type cell, was separated from the 103 female detainees of the city jail.

“Small, may lumang sofa, white na sahig, air-conditioned at basically isang desk,” Roxas described Napoles’ detention room.

24/7 visual contact security

As part of the Malacanang’s promise to ensure Napoles safety, two female guards keep an eye on her inside the detention room while more guards were assigned outside and around the detention facility.

However, any “special treatment” will not be given to the accused businesswoman.

“There is one instruction that the president gave me: to ensure that she is alive. We want her to be alive to face the charges and whatever penalties might be there and/or to be able to give testimonies, evidence additional strengthening the governance case on this anti-corruption issue,” Roxas said.

In addition, Napoles’ family would have to follow the visiting rules set on the detention facility, which is between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. during weekends. On the other hand, her lawyers will be given the full right to enter the detention room.

However, use of cellular phone or any communication devices is strictly prohibited to Napoles while her lawyers can only use mobile phones outside the detention room.

Tracking Napoles’s brothers

As the hunt for Napoles’ brother, Reynald “Jojo” Lim goes on, PNP chief Director-General Alan Purisima said that tracker teams have been formed to look and capture him.

An arrest warrant was ordered by the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 to Napoles and her brother after the serious illegal detention case, a non-bailable offense, filed by Benhur Luy, their former employer and pork barrel scam whistleblower.

The government is giving a P5 million reward in exchange for data that would direct to the arrest of Lim.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group placed surveillance on the areas where Lim is suspected to be hiding.

Makati court to hear Napoles’ request

Makati court is set on Friday afternoon to hear the appeal of Napoles to be put in a “safe and secure confinement” and another action requesting Judge Elmo Alameda to hold back from the hearing of the case.

Napoles’ party requested that she should be detained in Camp Crame or Camp Bagong Diwa, where she will be protected properly.

However, CIDG National Capital Region head Senior Supt. Robert Fajardo said confirmation on the alleged threats against Napoles should be conducted first.

On the other hand, in the motion to hold back, Napoles is questioning the arrest warrant issued against her.

“Prior to the release of the warrants, their camp had filed a motion for the determination of probable cause and an urgent motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of an arrest warrant,” Lorna Kapunan said, Napoles’ legal counsel.

Kapunan further stated that the judge quickly issued the arrest warrant instead of setting a date to hear the motions.

The two motions were filed Thursday upon the order of Judge Alameda for the transfer of Napoles from Cam Crame to Makati City Jail.

Written by:

Faye Michelle Regis
ABCom, Leyte Normal University