Sandigan orders Napoles transfer to Taguig jail

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THE anti-graft court ordered Friday the transfer of Janet Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, inside the female dormitory of Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Sandiganbayan third division clerk of court Dennis Pulma said the commitment order for Napoles' transfer to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) female dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa will be implemented immediately.

Napoles, who is facing three plunder and multiple graft cases, has been staying at Fort Santo Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna since her arrest September of last year due to a serious illegal detention case filed against her by her former employee, Benhur Luy.

Napoles was accused of engineering the diversion of multi-billion peso pork barrel fund to her bogus non-government organizations.

Also on Friday, Napoles failed to attend the hearing for her bail petition after she arrived in court late.

Stephen David, lawyer for Napoles, said they were not aware of an order for his client to appear in court.

Tang said the order for Napoles was issued the Thursday.

Meanwhile in a similar petition at Sandiganbayan first division, Napoles asked to junk a motion by the prosecution seeking her transfer to a regular jail ran by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Napoles' camp claimed that her life will be in danger if she is moved out of Fort Sto. Domingo, which is maintained by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Prosecutors, in a motion last July 14, asked the first division to order the transfer of Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., his former chief of staff Richard Cambe and Napoles to BJMP-run jail at Camp Bagong Diwa where another plunder defendant, Reyes, is now held.

They claimed there is no legal basis to the continued detention of Revilla and Cambe at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame and Napoles in Fort Sto. Domingo, citing provisions of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure requiring that arrested individuals must be committed to the nearest police station or BJMP-operated detention facility.

They said the present system also means the defendants enjoy special treatment including more relaxed visiting hours and better facilities.

Napoles' lawyers however argued that she has been previously recognized by the Pasay Regional Trial Court as a "high profile/high-risk detainee" and therefore requires tighter security to ensure that her life is not placed in any risk so she can face trial on capital offenses.

The defense likewise noted that Napoles has already submitted a waiver of appearance so that the prosecution's objections to the difficulty of bringing her to appear before the Sandiganbayan are no longer valid.

"The cases brought against her are intensely controversial and involves highly powerful and controversial personalities. There are grave, real and imminent threats to her life and security," the defense added. (Sunnex)

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