Napoles surrender: Where was De Lima?
She says that as a public servant, she respects the President's decision

NO HARD FEELINGS. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in a file photo

MANILA, Philippines – It’s a question various sectors asked Thursday, August 29, following the surrender of Janet Lim-Napoles to President Benigno Aquino III. After all, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has been leading the investigation into and the hunt for Janet Lim-Napoles.

De Lima admitted she was not informed about the details of Napoles’ plan to surrender, but that she was told by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday, August 28, about the erstwhile fugitive’s surrender feelers to the Palace.

READ: How Napoles ended up in Malacañang

Beyond this, De Lima and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were kept in the dark. She said she got updates only after Napoles had surrendered to the President. 

Asked how she felt about it, De Lima told reporters she respects the decision of the President. It would seem awkward if Napoles surrendered to the NBI considering it’s the agency running after her and keeping the whistleblowers against her, De Lima added. She surmised it was Napoles’ condition for surrender — that she won’t be turned over to the NBI.

“It’s the NBI that is investigating and it is the NBI that is going after her,” De Lima told reporters. “In fact, NBI is even a co-complainant in the serious illegal detention case filed by Benhur [Luy]. So i don’t think you will expect Napoles or her family to be comfortable with the NBI.”

Did she feel bad about her department’s non-involvement in the surrender? De Lima said it doesn’t matter how she feels because she’s a public servant. “Okay lang sa amin yan. We want to handle that in a very professional manner and a very objective manner.”

She added: “Whatever I feel or the feelings I have does not matter. I am a public servant.” –


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