NOBODY but the warden of the Makati City Jail (MCJ) has the ‘final word’ on the proposed transfer to an ordinary detention cell of detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion pork barrel fund scam.
According to lawyer Diosfa Valencia, clerk of court of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150, the court must hear first the petition on the proposed transfer of Napoles back to the MCJ.
The Makati court has jurisdiction over Napoles, who is now detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for her serious illegal detention case filed by former employee and whistleblower Benhur Luy.
“The court has to know whether the Makati City jail now has the enough facility to secure the safety of Napoles inside the jail,” said Valencia.
When Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino 3rd in Malacañang, she was temporarily detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City before she was transferred to the MCJ.
But upon the request of Napoles’ lawyers, she was moved to the Fort Sto. Domingo for ‘security reasons’ being considered as a high risk detainee.
Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted the request of Napoles after Makati City acting jail warden Chief Inspector Fermin Enriquez admitted that they could not personally guarantee her safety while in their custody.
But Valencia said the court has to hear the proposal with the prosecution and the defense.
“All matters and issues will be considered and will be weighed by the judge,” she added.
Valencia’s statement was in reaction to the proposal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the immediate transfer of Napoles to the city jail from her special detention center in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa Laguna.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima aired the proposal after senators expressed dismay when they failed to get vital information about the pork barrel fund scam on Napoles when she testified at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing. RITCHIE A. HORARIO