Drop plunder case — Napoles

Janet Lim Napoles

CONVICTED plunderer Janet Lim Napoles has filed a demurrer to evidence in connection with the   plunder case involving her and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

In her demurrer to evidence filed before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division, Napoles seeks the dismissal of her plunder case since she is a private citizen and as such cannot be charged as the main plunderer.

The lawyers of Napoles stressed that it was suggested in the information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman that Napoles, a private individual, is the main plunderer.

Likewise, the camp of Napoles said the case should be dismissed since the prosecution failed to identify Estrada, a public officer, as the main plunderer.

Napoles is the co-accused of Estrada, who the prosecution accused of amassing at least P183 million commission from the projects funded by  priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of the former senator.

Napoles’ camp noted that in the Supreme Court decision on the plunder case of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the main plunderer must be a public officer.

“To reiterate, what appears in the instant case is incompetent, inadmissible, and insufficient evidence that the conspiracy was geared towards helping accused Napoles misappropriate the PDAF proceeds for her personal gain,” the demurrer read.

The P50 million threshold for plunder was also not met, according to the lawyer of Napoles as there are four accused in the alleged pocketing of P183 million kickbacks, which means each received only P45 million.

Aside from Estrada and Napoles, also facing plunder charges are Estrada’s chief of staff Pauline Labayen and Napoles’ cousin John Raymund De Asis.