THE decision of lawyer Loren Kapunan to withdraw as legal counsel of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, is not good as far as the latter is concerned.
Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd said the decision of Kapunan to distance herself from the case is an indication that the two have issues that cannot be resolved.
He added that something could be seriously wrong when a lawyer you hired decided to let drop you.
“That means that you’re not united in the strategy to be carried out. And that’s probably the reason why Atty. Lorna Kapunan resigned,” Osmeña said in an interview.
The senator, however, made it clear that he was only guessing as to the reason why Napoles’s lawyer decided to back off.
“I would assume that there is some disagreement in the strategy,” Osmeña added.
Kapunan is Napoles’s lawyer on the serious illegal detention case filed against her by Benhur Luy, a former trusted employee of Napoles who turned whistleblower.
The lawyer in a radio interview admitted that aside from the decision of her client to have her co-collaborator in case, lawyer Freddie Villamor, to handle the case, there is also a “difference of opinion on strategy.”
According to Kapunan in any court case, having differences of opinion is always not good—better if the case will be handled by only one lawyer.
Death threats from politico
Detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains in the pork barrel fund scam, has been receiving death threats from a politician, according to her legal counsel.
Lawyer Lorna Kapunan said the politician wanted Napoles to keep mum on whatever she knows about the alleged funneling of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of some lawmakers into her bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations.
Kapunan on Wednesday surprised everybody when she unexpectedly withdrawn as Napoles’ legal counsel in her serious illegal detention case filed by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benjur Luy.
Besides the “differences” with Napoles’ other lawyers, Kapunan also cited the death threats to Napoles as one of the reasons for her withdrawal from the case.
“Really, we were intending to do that precisely because of the real threats on her [Napoles] life,” Kapunan told a radio interview when asked about her withdrawal from the case.
However, Kapunan did not name the said politician.
Napoles, along with some senators and former lawmakers was slapped with plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel fund scam.
Among the senators implicates in the scam were Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Three former representatives were also facing charges for involvement in malversation, direct bribery and other graft and corrupt practices.
They are Rodolfo Plaza of Agusan del Sur, Samuel Dangwa of the lone district of Benguet and Constantino Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro.
The name of Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City was also mentioned in one of the hearings on the bail petition of Napoles before the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150.
Luy, in his testimony said that he saw a staff of Ungab waiting outside the office of the JLN Corp. at Discovery Suites in Pasig City to submit an endorsement letter for a possible project identified by Ungab’s office.
Napoles is now tightly-guarded at the Fort Santo Domingo detention facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
WITH REPORT FROM RITCHIE A. HORARIO