MANILA - Basking in the acquittal of her illegal detention case at the Court of Appeals, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles was all smiles on Wednesday as she faced the Sandiganbayan in connection with a separate plunder case.
Napoles appeared in court wearing jeans and a blue button down shirt, instead of the orange apparel usually worn by detainees of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
She smiled as she passed by reporters and gave a wave.
Napoles then spent about 5 hours at the Sandigan to sign a pre-trial order of her plunder case.
Napoles is accused of masterminding the pork barrel scam, which funneled the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of lawmakers into the ghost projects of non-government organizations she allegedly set up.
Among those tagged in the controversy were former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla and other legislators.
In 2015, Napoles was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for the illegal detention of her cousin Benhur Luy, who accused her of detaining him in a subdivision in Makati City to prevent him from revealing the PDAF scam.
The Court of Appeals (CA) on Wednesday overturned the conviction of Napoles in the illegal detention case "based on reasonable doubt."
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the same day revealed that the administration is considering Napoles as a state witness in the re-investigation of the pork barrel scam -- a plan that her camp welcomed.
Her lawyer, Stephen David, said they have written to Aguirre in a bid to have Napoles' custody transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation.
-- With a report from Jeff Hernaez, DZMM