Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Makati court orders arrest of Janet Lim-Napoles over illegal detention case - GMA News

(Updated 8:13 p.m.) Janet Lim-Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of an alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, has been ordered arrested in connection with the illegal detention case involving whistleblower Benhur Luy.

"Warrants of arrest issued this afternoon by Br. 150, RTC-Makati vs Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald 'Jojo' Lim in the serious illegal detention case," Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told GMA News Online on Wednesday.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has charged Napoles and Lim for the alleged illegal detention of Luy, lead employee of Napoles' JLN Group of Companies, which has been linked to anomalies involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, of several lawmakers.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had earlier cleared Napoles and Lim of illegal detention charges, but the NBI moved for the reversal of the decision.

"The motion for reconsiderations of NBI and Benhur Luy were granted," De Lima said.

De Lima said the case was non-bailable, and that the "NBI team (is) on its way to implement (the arrest warrants)."

Napoles was accused of taking Luy, a probable witness in the alleged scam, against his will and detaining him inside her condominium unit in Taguig City.

In a March 1 letter to De Lima, Luy's relatives asked for help in ensuring his safety. They claimed Luy was illegally detained by Napoles and her brother "to ensure that nobody can directly implicate (the siblings) with the ongoing issues on the fertilizer fund scam, Malampaya fund scam, and anomalies in the implementation of several PDAF-funded projects."

NBI agents rescued Luy last March 22 at the Pacific Plaza Tower, where he was detained for three months.

In their complaint, Luy's family claimed they were only allowed by Napoles and Lim to see and visit Luy twice since he was "abducted" on Dec. 19, 2012. It was during the second visit that Luy "surreptitiously handed his hand-written note indicating that he is being detained against his will."

On June 10, however, the DOJ dismissed the case, saying it was "misled" in ordering Luy's "rescue," noting the supposed letter Luy sent to his parents denying that he was taken against his will.

The NBI, as well as Luy, has appealed the DOJ's decision. — KBK, GMA News
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