LAWYER Lorna Kapunan is formally relieved as legal counsel of detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam.
This after the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has formally approved the withdrawal of Kapunan as the legal counsel of Napoles in her serious illegal detention case pending before the court.
In a one-page order, Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati RTC Branch 150 granted the formal withdrawal of appearance Kapunan filed on October 30 signifying her intention to resign as Napoles counsel.
“Accordingly, the law firm of Kapunan Garcia & Castillo is hereby relieved of its duties and responsibilities to represent accused Janet Lim Napoles in this court,” Alameda said on Tuesday.
Alameda said he approved Kapunan’s withdrawal after Napoles confirmed that she has terminated her agreement with Kapunan.
However, Kapunan did not tell the court the exact reason for her withdrawal.
Kapunan earlier stated that “differences of opinion” with her former collaborating lawyer Freddie Villamor, who had since taken over the illegal detention case, prompted her to resign as Napoles’ counsel.
Kapunan had represented Napoles both in the serious illegal detention case at the Makati court and the plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
In the illegal detention case, Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim were charged for allegedly detaining pork barrel scam accuser Benhur Luy in a retreat house in Makati from December 2012 to March 22, 2013.
Ritchie A. Horario