MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Sandiganbayan Third Division will conduct the bail hearing of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam, at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City on Friday.
In a press conference Thursday, clerk of court Dennis Pulma confirmed that the CIW has set aside a hall in the facility’s medium security area for the hearing.
“For tomorrow’s continuation of Mrs. Napoles’ bail hearing, the venue will be inside the premises of the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong. Same time, 8:30,” Pulma said.
The hearing will be the first since Napoles was convicted of serious illegal detention by the Makati Regional Trial Court.
According to Pulma, Napoles’ bail hearings for her graft and plunder charges will be in the CIW since the Supreme Court has yet to act on the Sandiganbayan’s request for her to be brought out of jail every time she needs to attend a hearing.
“So far we have not yet received any notice or resolution or action to the letter of the Presiding Justice. In the meantime, we made some arrangements with the officials of the CIW, to hold the hearing tomorrow in the premises,” Pulma said, referring to the letter written by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serreno.
Pulma said accredited media will be allowed to cover the hearing.
“When we went there we were informed that usually they do not allow media coverage for hearings, except upon the permission of the Secretary of Justice herself. When we left she texted that Secretary [Leila de Lima] allowed the coverage for the hearing,” he said.
The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 has sentenced Napoles to reclusion perpetua of up to 40 years in jail after she was found guilty of serious illegal detention.
Napoles and her brother Reynald Jojo Lim were accused of detaining their cousin and her former employee Benhur Luy for three months. Lim remains at large and was never arraigned.
Luy, who was rescued in March 2013, was allegedly detained after Napoles found out that he secured a P5.5-million loan using her name and without her authorization. Napoles has also accused Luy of stealing P300,000 that he was supposed to deposit to her account.
Luy’s camp, however, insisted that he was taken against his will so he would not be able to spill the beans on Napoles’ anomalous transactions.
These consisted of allegedly diverting P10 billion from the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of lawmakers through her non-existent foundations for alleged ghost projects.
Luy went on to become the primary whistleblower and the government star witness in the graft and plunder cases filed against Napoles, three incumbent senators and several former lawmakers before the Sandiganbayan. (MNS)