MANILA, Philippines – When Janet Lim Napoles entered her so-called cell, a small air-conditioned office at the Makati City jail, she was very emotional but held back her tears, her lawyer said.
Facing the media an hour after Napoles was jailed, Lorna Kapunan said that while her client was indeed separated from the 104 female inmates inside the jail, her room had no bed and she was not allowed to bring her cell phones. The jail has a total of 545 inmates.
“She was very emotional. She wasn’t crying but she was very apprehensive,” Kapunan said. The lawyer stressed that the threats against her client and her family were real. “The threat is not imagined… the plate numbers of cars, the children are being tracked. We worry about people not in uniform following her.”
Kapunan said Napoles “from day one…has said she will tell the truth” and would appear before any investigating body.
But various lawmakers have scoffed at suggestions that Napoles would turn state witness.
Not a criminal!
Because of fear for her safety, Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night, August 28. The surrender happened in Malacañang, a move widely criticized in social media.
But Kapunan stressed that the court process against Napoles is still ongoing. “She is not a convicted criminal.”
She blamed the media for the public hate that her client has been subjected to. “Because of media and social media, she has become the poster child of the scam. No matter where she goes she’s the subject of public hate.”
Kapunan said they will rely on Aquino’s “promise” that they will be accorded “due process.”
She added that her client has diabetes but that they chose not to put her under hospital arrest at the risk of being accused of being given “preferential treatment.”
Kapunan on Thursday asked the Makati court to stop Napoles’ transfer to the city jail, but this did not deter the police from moving her out of Camp Crame.
The court has scheduled a September 9 arraignment for Napoles. – Rappler.com