MANILA, Philippines — Janet Lim Napoles, who is accused of engineering the pork barrel scam, has formally asked the Sandiganbayan to allow her transfer from the Correctional Institute for Women to the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Napoles was recently acquitted by the Court of Appeals of serious illegal detention charges after Solicitor General Jose Calida took her side and argued that she had been wrongly convicted on the charges filed by her relative and main pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
She remains accused of several plunder cases over her alleged role in pilfering up to P10 billion in lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund, or congressional pork and has been denied bail by the anti-graft court. However, the Duterte administration has floated the possibility of making her a state witness in the pork barrel scam cases.
The four-page very urgent motion filed before the 5th Division by Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David not only said she should not be jailed at the Correctional Institute since she is no longer a convict but also claimed she is being “bombarded with almost everyday death threats since “news circulated that she may be used as a government/state witness against some high-ranking government officials regarding the PDAF scam and that the present administration intends to revisit her cases.”
The prosecution is expected to submit its response to Napoles’ motion on Monday.