MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Wearing a bullet-proof vest, Janet Lim Napoles was transferred to the Makati City jail Thursday night, August 29.
Napoles, along with a police convoy, left Camp Crame shortly past 11 pm.
Napoles arrived at the city jail at 11:20 pm, along with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, and other officials.
Napoles was brought to an air-conditioned office, not a cell, outside the cells where the other jail inmates are staying, Roxas told reporters later. This is for security reasons, he added. The jail has 545 inmates, 103 of whom are women.
Two female guards will be with Napoles in the office, according to Roxas. On top of this, additional policemen were deployed to the area to ensure 24/7 security for Napoles.
Residents living near the jail lined up to wait for her arrival. The jail’s entrance was guarded by members of the special tactics and response team of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
By 11:48 pm, after Roxas’ interview with reporters, Napoles’ belongings — two storage boxes and 3 bags — were brought inside the jail.
Ten minutes later, policemen accompanied Napoles’ doctor inside the jail. Napoles is suffering from diabetes, according to her lawyer Lorna Kapunan. The doctor left after 10 minutes.
Roxas announced the planned transfer at an 11 pm press conference in Camp Crame. He said they were following a Makati court order, adding they were not taking the situation lightly.
Purisima said the jail will be secured for Napoles.
Napoles, alleged mastermind of a multi-billion pork barrel scam, will be joining her former maid in jail.
The maid, Cadelina Domingo, was set up by Napoles for qualified theft, according to lawyer Levito Baligod. In February this year, she was arrested for stealing and has since been detained at the Makati City Jail in Guadalupe.
Baligod, counsel of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, said he learned about Domingo’s case from other former Napoles employees who are now also testifying on the scam.
The transfer of Napoles follows the commitment order issued earlier on Thursday by the regional trial court branch 150 of Makati. It was the same court that the arrest warrant against her and her brother Reynald Lim, who remains at large.
Napoles’ camp immediately filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its decision. They asked that the motion be heard the next day. The motion listed Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, which is near Makati, as an alternative to Camp Crame.
Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night, August 28. She spent the night in an office in Camp Crame. Roxas said it was the office of former Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno, which is on the ground floor of the main PNP headquarters.
Napoles told the President that her life was in danger. The President himself arranged for her security and joined the convoy that brought Napoles from Malacañang to Camp Crame right after she surrendered. He left only after he was able to check where she was going to be temporarily detained. – with reports from Bea Cupin and Michael Bueza/Rappler.com