Detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles has asked the Supreme Court to grant her petition for bail as the prosecution has failed to present a “strong” plunder case against her.
Napoles, who has been accused of masterminding the multibillion-peso scam involving several lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, has asked the high court to reverse the decision of the Sandiganbayan Third Division on October 16, 2015 and on March 2, 2016 in a motion for reconsideration denying her petition for bail.
Through her lawyers, Napoles had filed a petition for certiorari before the high tribunal after the anti-graft court’s twin denials.
The prosecutors argued that the Sandiganbayan correctly rejected her petition for bail because the people, represented by the Office of the Ombudsman, was able to establish “strong” evidence against her.
Napoles countered: “[a]ll in all, the Petition…will stand on its own merits. It is clear that the Third Division of the Sandiganbayan has acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in holding that the evidence of guilt of Petitioner for the crime of plunder is strong.”
Napoles’ co-respondent is former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, whom the Supreme Court had allowed to post bail for humanitarian considerations.
Under Philippine laws, plunder is a non-bailable offense. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO