• Ordinary detention cell for Napoles sought

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    Fallen businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, accused of masterminding the P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the gain of her fake entities, should be detained back to an ordinary detention such as Makati City jail.

    Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmarinas City, Chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, noted that Napoles should not stay in her comfortable abode at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa town, Laguna because her alleged crime of illegal detention definitely does not warrant special treatment.

    “Those who have less in life should have more in law. The Napoles detention is the opposite of this dictum. The public prosecutors handling the case should ask the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, in a motion, to have Napoles transferred to a regular jail,” Barzaga said in a statement, quoting the late former president Ramon Magsaysay.

    While she is accused of being the brains behind the P10 billion PDAF scam, Napoles is incarcerated for illegal detention charges leveled against her by former employee and distant cousin, Benhur Luy.

    Luy is one of the whistleblowers of the P10 billion PDAF scam.

    Barzaga argued that if Napoles won’t be transferred to an ordinary city jail, the government will also have to provide accused lawmakers and other persons involved in the pork barrel scam a detention facility similar to Fort Sto. Domingo in the event that the Court orders their arrest.

    “While thousands of poor Filipinos are languishing in crowded, dilapidated buildings with unsanitary conditions, the ‘pork barrel queen’ who allegedly amassed hundreds of millions of public funds is staying in a well-ventilated room with sala,” Barzaga pointed out.

    “As such, the accused lawmakers will have to be provided detention facilities similar to that granted to Napoles by invoking the equal protection clause of the Constitution which mandates that persons similarly situated should be treated alike,” Barzaga further warned.

    Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile lead the at least 38 people who have been charged with plunder and graft-related charges in connection with the P10 billion PDAF mess. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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