Makati police prepare to secure Napoles at RTC appearance-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
MAKATI City police on Thursday made tight security arrangements for a court appearance by Janet Napoles, the suspected mastermind of a multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang Wednesday night, after Aquino announced a P10-million bounty for her arrest.
Radio reports said Makati police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban Jr. assured the safety of Napoles, whose lawyer Lorna Kapunan said Napoles had surrendered for fear for her life.
Lukban said they can provide support for security for Napoles' convoy from Crame to the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC), as well as secure the RTC.
Napoles spent Wednesday night at Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame. She will be brought before the Makati RTC, which issued a warrant for her and her brother Reynald Lim's arrest on charges of serious illegal detention for allegedly kidnapping whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Napoles was linked to a multi-billion peso pork barrel scam that triggered public outrage and prompted Aquino to announce it was time to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), though he called for a mechanism to replace it.
Meanwhile, progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Thursday that Malacanang should disclose the terms set by the government that led to the surrender of Napoles.
“Is it a deal or no deal? The people want to know what the terms of surrender were for Janet Napoles. How will the deal affect the PDAF scam and the cases that will be filed? It's hard not to see the carefully orchestrated dramatic surrender to Aquino and then turn over to Roxas and the PNP as something of a script," Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said.
"The whole thing seems calculated to make the President look good even if he refuses to scrap the pork barrel system amid mass protests,” he added.
Bayan speculated that the Aquino administration could strike a deal with Napoles not to implicate its allies in Congress in connection with the misuse of PDAF.
Earlier, a party-list lawmaker said the surrender of Napoles seems to be part of a "well-written Palace script."
“The surrender seems among the ‘calculated tactics’ of the Palace to defeat the public outrage and deflect the increasing pressure on the President to give up his own pork," Kabataan party-list Representative Terry Ridon said.
Meanwhile, Peachy Tan, one of the movers of the Million People March on August 26, said in a text message, "I am glad she's in custody. I hope that the circumstances of her surrender will not be an indication of special treatment for her.Now, the NBI must start talking to her about her involvement in the pork barrel scam and not just the kidnapping charges."(JK/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)