Sandiganbayan orders Napoles transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2017 10:29 AM | Updated as of May 15 2017 06:04 PM

Members of the Bureau of Correction guide Janet Lim Napoles as she arrives at the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday. Napoles signed a pre-trial order in her case involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former APEC Party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (2nd update) - Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles was ordered transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig Monday.

Sandiganbayan 1st Division Acting Chairperson Geraldine Econg said the urgent motion of the prosecution to commit Napoles to the BJMP facility was granted and the request of the defense for National Bureau of Investigation custody was denied. 

Prosecution and defense respectively submitted motions after the Court of Appeals acquitted Napoles in her serious illegal detention case filed against her by aide and relative Benhur Luy.

Econg said there was no evidence Napoles will not be safe in Camp Bagong Diwa, and ordered her detention at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility.

Econg cited Republic Act 6975, which said the BJMP is mandated to maintain the safekeeping of persons awaiting trial.

Hours after the first division released its decision, the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division followed suit and also granted the BJMP request of the prosecution and denied the NBI detention being prayed for by Napoles. 

After hearing oral arguments from the prosecution and the defense, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chair Amparo Cabotaje-Tang ordered in open court the detention of Napoles at the BJMP facility in Camp Bagong Diwa. 

Cabotaje-Tang cited the Rules of Court and as well as RA 6975.

After issuing the ruling, Cabotaje-Tang ordered the issuance of a commitment order to the BJMP telling them to hold Napoles in detention at Camp Bagong Diwa.

Meantime, the 1st Division released their commitment order to the BJMP asking them to detain Napoles and not allow her "to be moved, removed or relocated, until further orders" from the court. 

Napoles previously served her sentence of reclusion perpetua at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City.

The 5th Division remains to be the only court expected to issue its own ruling as Napoles also has pending plunder and graft charges there. 

Napoles is accused of being at the helm of the pork barrel scam, which funneled lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) into allegedly anomalous projects of non-government organizations she supposedly set up.

Among those charged with various cases of graft, plunder and fund malversation were former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, former House of Representatives members, other officials and heads of agencies.

After she was acquitted, Napoles' camp said they are in talks with the Department of Justice to turn her to a state witness, despite her pending plunder and graft cases at the Sandiganbayan.

- with a report by Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News