MANILA- Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles will appeal her plunder conviction, her lawyer said Friday.
The Sandiganbayan found Napoles and former Senator Bong Revilla's chief-of-staff, Richard Cambe, guilty of plunder for the P224 million kickbacks from Revilla's PDAF from 2006 to 2010.
Revilla, meanwhile, was acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
Both Napoles and Cambe were sentenced by the anti-graft court to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in jail, with "perpetual absolute disqualification" from public office.
They were also ordered to “solidarily” pay the national treasury a total amount of P124 million.
Lawyer Stephen David, legal counsel of Napoles, was in disbelief over the decision, saying Napoles cannot be convicted of plunder since she is a private individual.
“Papanong nangyari na ang isang co-conspirator naabswelto tapos yung private individual eh naconvict? Di ba? Parang napakahirap paniwalaan yun,” he told reporters Friday.
(How did it happen that a co-conspirator was absolved while a private individual was convicted? It seems difficult to believe.)
"Kung naabswelto ang isang senador, paano naman naiwanan yung kliyente ko na isang private individual? Di ba? Yun ang 'di ko naintindihan, that’s why mag-e-MR (motion for reconsideration) pa ko diyan," he added.
(If a senator was cleared, how was my client, a private individual, convicted? I cannot understand that, that's why I will appeal the decision.)
The anti-graft court on Friday ordered Napoles transferred to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City from a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Napoles has 15 days to appeal the decision.
-report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News