MANILA - Convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles has filed a demurrer to evidence to seek the dismissal of her plunder case involving the priority development assistance fund of former senator Jinggoy Estrada before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division.
The lawyers of Napoles stressed that it was suggested in the information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, that Napoles, a private individual, is the main plunderer.
It was also emphasized that the prosecution failed to identify Estrada, a public officer, as the main plunderer.
Napoles’ camp noted that in the Supreme Court decision on the plunder case of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the main plunderer must be a public officer.
“To reiterate, what appears in the instant case is incompetent, inadmissible, and insufficient evidence that the conspiracy was geared towards helping accused Napoles misappropriate the PDAF proceeds for her personal gain,” Napoles’ lawyer Erwin Legaspi said in the demurrer.
The P50 million threshold for plunder was also not met, according to the lawyer of Napoles as there are 4 accused in the alleged pocketing of P183 million kickbacks, which means each received only P45 million.
Aside from Estrada and Napoles, also facing plunder charges are Estrada’s chief of staff Pauline Labayen and Napoles’ cousin John Raymund De Asis.
The credibility of the whistleblowers such as Benhur Luy and their documentary evidence were also assailed by the lawyer of Napoles.
“Mr. Benhur Luy is a self-confessed forger. And there is no dispute that a forger is a dishonest person,” Legaspi said.