Prosecutors press for Napoles' immediate prison transfer

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2018 03:56 PM

MANILA - Government prosecutors have urged the Sandiganbayan 1st Division to order the immediate transfer of plunder convict Janet Lim Napoles to prison. 

This as they opposed the court's suspension of its order to commit Napoles to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City following her plunder conviction over her role in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. 

The businesswoman, tagged as the mastermind behind the fund diversion scheme using fake NGOs, had cited alleged threats to her life in asking to remain at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City. 

But government prosecutors said Napoles did not submit any proof to back her claim of threats to her life and security at the CIW, which she cited in her urgent motion for reconsideration against her move to prison.

“There exists no reason for the honorable court to reverse its order dated December 7, 2018, hence, convict Napoles’ motion should be denied,” prosecutors led by Assistant Special Prosecutor Mariter Delfin-Santos said in their comment.

The prosecution also said the court violated the Rules of Court when it did not set Napoles' urgent motion for hearing. 

“The subject's very urgent motion for reconsideration of convict Napoles, which is a litigious motion, is not set for hearing, in violation of the provisions of the Rules of Court, Rule 15, Sections 4 and 5 thereof. As such, it is a mere scrap of paper,” Delfin-Santos said.

Sections 4 and 5 of the Rules of Court refer to every motion being set for hearing by the applicant except for motions which the court may act upon without prejudicing the rights of the other party.

The Sandiganbayan on Dec. 7 found Napoles and former Senator Bong Revilla's chief-of-staff Richard Cambe guilty of plunder for allegedly taking P224 million in kickbacks from the former lawmaker's PDAF from 2006 to 2010. 

Revilla, meanwhile, was acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. 

Both Napoles and Cambe were sentenced by the anti-graft court to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in jail, with "perpetual absolute disqualification" from public office. 

They were also ordered to “solidarily” pay the national treasury a total amount of P124 million.