CA keeps Napoles in detention

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Monday, March 31, 2014

THE Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the petition of businesswoman Janet Napoles to stop her trial for alleged serious illegal detention of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

In a decision, Associate Justice Ramon Garcia said the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not commit any error when it came out with a resolution on August 6, 2013 finding probable cause against Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.

“There was no hint of whimsicality, no gross and patent abuse of discretion as would amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law,” the CA Special Third Division said.

The CA noted that Napoles failed to exhaust remedies before the DOJ such as appealing the resolution of DOJ Task Force on Anti-Kidnapping with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Her petition also did not attach the Makati court's order finding probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against her as well as the warrant itself.

Luy was rescued by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents in Napoles' condominium unit in March 22 last year after three months in detention.

Napoles denied detaining Luy, claiming her estranged personal assistant went on a spiritual retreat in exchange for the non-filing of cases against him for allegedly stealing P300,000 and obtaining loans worth more than P5 million without her consent.

The case is being heard by Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati City Regional Trial Court branch 150, who rejected Napoles' bid to post bail for her temporary liberty last month. Lim remains at large.

The businesswoman, who is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, is also facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly setting up fake non-government organizations to siphon off Priority Development Assistance Fund of some lawmakers. (Sunnex)

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