CA junks Napoles brother’s appeal in illegal detention case

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Monday, July 7, 2014

REYNALD Lim, fugitive brother of suspected pork barrel scam leader Janet Napoles, will still be tried by a Makati court for his participation in the alleged serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy last year.

This developed after the Court of Appeals (CA) Seventh Division on July 2 affirmed its decision last November 20 that uphold the arrest warrant issued against him by Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 150.

In a four-page resolution, the CA said Lim's motion for reconsideration lacked merit. It clarified though that the ruling has no intention of prejudging the case.

"We are not prejudging the criminal case or the guilt or innocence of the petitioner. We are simply saying that, as a general rule, if the information is valid on its face there is no showing of manifest error, grave abuse of discretion or prejudice on the part of the public prosecutor, courts should not dismiss it for 'want of evidence' because evidentiary matters should be presented and heard during the trial," the appellate court said.

Luy claimed he was detained by the businesswoman to prevent him from spilling the beans on Napoles' acquisition of multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) through her fake non-government organizations (NGOs) that carried out ghost projects.

As for Lim's participation in the crime, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said he allegedly took Luy's cellphone, laptop and other personal belongings and the whistleblower's family had to get his approval before they can see him.

Luy was detained from December 20, 2012 until his rescue by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents on March 22, 2013 in Napoles' condominium unit in Taguig City. (Sunnex)

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