Napoles loses bid to stay in Camp Bagong Diwa

December 28, 2018
Janet Lim-Napoles
Janet Lim-Napoles

DESPITE repeated appeals, convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles was ordered to return to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong to serve her life sentence.

Napoles is expected to welcome the New Year in the penitentiary for women.

Yesterday the Sandiganbayan Sheriff’s  Office received the commitment order stating that the transfer should happen on Thursday, December 27.

Napoles is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

She was transferred there from Correctional in May 2017 after the Court of Appeals (CA) acquitted her of serious illegal detention.

Napoles was convicted of plunder in relation to former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. ‘s case. The ex-senator was  acquitted.

Another co-accused, Revilla’s former Chief of Staff Richard Cambe, was also convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In her previous motion, Napoles asked the Sandiganbayan to allow her to stay in Camp Bagong Diwa for her security as she would receive death threats once transferred to Correctional.

But the Sandiganbayan was not convinced.

“For failure of accused Napoles to substantiate with concrete and convincing proof that her continued detention at the CIW poses grave threat to her life and security, other than her self-serving allegations, the instant motion is hereby denied,” the First Division said.

The First Division also cited a circular of the Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) saying that convicted persons shall be committed to national prisons immediately, despite an appeal, in order to decongest regional prisons.

Napoles has 4 more plunder charges related to the pork barrel scam, and 7 other sets of graft related to other lawmakers

In a related development,  Napoles has appealed her conviction for plunder over her involvement in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

She filed a motion for reconsideration, insisting that there was no main plunderer in the P224-million plunder case following Revilla’s acquittal.

Napoles’ plea also stressed that there was no conspiracy established, which means that all the other alleged co-conspirators should also be freed from liability, as Revilla was.

The motion also quoted some parts of the dissenting opinion of 1st Division Chairperson Efren De la Cruz and Associate Justice Maria Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta, who said Revilla was the “main plunderer” or “main accused.”

Napoles noted that the prosecution failed to prove that Cambe amassed P50 million and that Revilla got kickbacks from his PDAF.

Napoles also insisted that Benhur Luy and other prosecution witnesses were not credible witnesses, thus the decision of the court should be “reconsidered, reversed and set aside” and a decision acquitting her should be rendered.

Cambe to SC

Meanwhile, Cambe’s camp is planning to go straight to the Supreme Court to appeal his conviction.

“Accused Cambe, by counsel, respectfully serves notice that he is appealing the decision dated 7 December 2018 of this honorable court in the above-captioned case to the honorable Supreme Court, for being contrary to law and the evidence on record,” lawyer Manuel Joseph Bretaña said in a notice sent to Sandiganbayan.