MANILA - The brother of the alleged brains behind the multi-billion peso pork barrrel scam, Janet Lim Napoles, has also gone up to the Court of Appeals (CA) in an effort to void the warrant for his arrest for the non-bailable charge of serious illegal detention.
Reynald Lim, who remains a fugitive from justice, filed a 40-page petition for certiorari last Aug. 22, urging the appellate court to reverse the finding of probable cause against him on the case filed by pork scam primary whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Lim asked the CA to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the arrest warrant issued by Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Elmo Alameda, who also ordered the arrest of Napoles.
"Wherefore, premises considered, petitioner respectfully prayes that immediately upon the filing of this petition, the Honorable Court issue a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the National Bureau of Investigation and other agents of the government from enforcing the Order of Warrant of Arrest and public respondent judge from proceeding with the case a quo for a period of 60 days," Lim's petition read.
Lim argued that Alameda acted "whimsically and arbitrarily" when the latter issued the warrant of arrest even before his motion for judicial determination of probable cause could be heard.
"Public respondent judge violated the constitutional right of the petitioner and acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he issued the warrant of arrest against petitioner despite the absence of probable cause. He failed to make an independent evaluation of the existence of probable cause and relied solely on the report of the public prosecutor.
"Had public respondent judge personally evaluated the evidence before him, he would have known that there is no probable cause to issue the warrant of arrest against petitioner," the petition read.
Lim accused Luy and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a co-complainant in the case, of misleading Justice Secretary Leila De Lima after the latter ordered Luy's "rescue."
Lim maintained that he and Napoles did not hold Luy against his will for several months as claimed by Luy and the NBI.
"Petitioner maintains that agents of NBI acted in conspiracy with respondent Benhur Luy," the petition read.