BELEAGUERED businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, accused of masterminding the diversion of P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to her fake non-government organizations (NGOs), should be detained in an ordinary detention just like other offenders, such as Makati City jail.
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas, Chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, noted the Napoles should not be staying in an airconditioned room at Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa Laguna because she is being charged with illegal detention, which definitely does not warrant special treatment.
As the late former president Ramon Magsaysay said “those who have less in life should have more in law does not hold true with Napoles. 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.
While she is accused of being the brains behind the P10-billion PDAF mess Napoles is being incarcerated for illegal detention on charges of former employee and distant cousin, Benhur Luy.
Luy is one of the witnesses to 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 the accused lawmakers and other persons involved in the pork barrel scam a detention facility similar to Fort Santo Domingo should the courts order 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.