Thursday, August 15, 2013

Napoles camp questions arrest orders, undue haste of court - Inquirer.net

By Kristine Angeli Sabillo
INQUIRER.net

Atty. Lorna Kapunan INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines -Janet Lim-Napoles' counsel on Thursday questioned the undue haste in which the Makati Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of her client.

Lawyer Lorna Kapunan, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM, said the arrest warrants for Napoles and her brother Reynald "Jojo" Lim were released with questionable haste.

"We question the motives of the Secretary of Justice. Is she under pressure? Is this becoming political? Are they looking for a convenient scapegoat?" Kapunan asked.

Napoles' counsel accused the government of not following due process, saying that they found out that the DOJ resolution did not pass through the records division of the court and that the arrest warrant was released after office hours.

"There is so much lack of transparency. That is why this is shocking coming from someone as respected as Justice Secretary [Leila De Lima]," Kapunan said, questioning the special raffle of the case and the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant.

De Lima said the arrest of Napoles and Lim for the alleged serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy was ordered on Wednesday afternoon but Kapunan asserted it was released after office hours.

Kapunan also said they were surprised that the court ordered Napoles' arrest when a day before De Lima assured them of a fair trial.

She questioned the lodging of the case when it was initially dismissed by prosecutors for lack of probable cause. She said they have CCTV footage and 17 sworn statements from credible witnesses, including priests, which prove that Luy wasn't detained and was able to "move freely with his own volition" during his so-called retreat.

The lawyer said there is also hearsay that there was a midnight meeting at the DOJ where De Lima called for the reversal of the decision and the immediate arrest of Napoles.

"We welcome the secretary if she will say that it is not true. I don't doubt her integrity but if these are the things we hear…" Kapunan said.

Napoles, who is still in hiding, is also being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation for allegedly masterminding the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

RELATED STORIES:

NBI teams out to arrest Napoles, brother, says De Lima

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Napoles arrest ordered


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Tags: arrest warrant , corruption , Department of Justice , Janet Lim Napoles , Leila de Lima , Lorna Kapunan , Manila , Philippines , pork barrel scam


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