Napoles irks Sandiganbayan justices for continued absence in hearings

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2020 11:30 AM

Pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, along with Bong Revilla's former chief-of-staff Richard Cambe, is found guilty of plunder by the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City on December 7, 2018. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Former businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles irked justices of the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division for her continued absence in her graft trial involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Officials of the Bureau of Corrections from the New Bilibid Prison and the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) were summoned by the court Tuesday to explain the absence of Napoles since January 29, 2020 when she was supposed to sign the pre-trial order.

Jail Senior Inspector Jane Bautista and Senior Superintendent Cecilia Villanueva reported to the court that Napoles was not able to go to court because of her high blood sugar.

“She feels bad only when there is an order for her to be here?” Associate Justice Ronald Moreno asked.

The BuCor officials claimed Napoles has a history of increased blood sugar levels, which prompted the court to ask for a notarized copy of her past medical records.

“The court orders the CIW to do that,” Presiding Justice and Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang said.

Napoles is again scheduled to appear before the court on Wednesday to sign the pre-trial order, a requirement before the trial for 16 counts of graft against her and Enrile can proceed.

Enrile is accused of receiving kickbacks worth P172.8 million from Napoles for allocating part of his PDAF to bogus non-government organizations NGOs set up by Napoles.