Napoles detained at Laguna fort
MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Janet Lim-Napoles, the woman at the center of the pork barrel scam, was transferred to her new detention facility in Laguna just before dawn Sunday, September 1.
Three separate convoys, with at least 10 vehicles participating, left the Makati City Jail for Fort Sto Domingo in Sta Rosa, Laguna starting at around 5:05 am. There was no confirmation as to which of the 3 convoys Napoles was in.
Security was tight at the fort when the vehicles arrived at between 5:30 and 6 am, with police personnel barring media from entering the compound.
Makati City Jail officer-in-charge JCInsp Fermin Enriquez handed over custody of Napoles to the PNP Special Action Force at around 6:30 am, police said, and was received by Police Supt Francis Allan Reglos, commandant of the PNP SAF School.
PNP spokesperson Sr Supt Reuben Sindac said the transfer followed directions from Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to keep Napoles "alive" and safe.
Officials present at the city jail prior to the transfer were Chief Supt Jose Erwin Villacorte, Southern Police District head, and Sr Supt Manuel Lukban Jr, chief of the Makati City police. PNP Director General Alan Purisima was also spotted at the Makati City Jail prior to the move.
The transfer pushed through two days after Judge Elmo Alameda of Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) allowed her transfer to the PNP camp in Laguna.
She was supposed to be brought to the fort Saturday, August 31, after the order was given Friday, August 30, but the facility where she was to be detained was not yet ready.
Roxas said Saturday the 82.4-square-meter facility where Napoles was to be detained underwent additional repairs and enhancements, including additional bars, the installation of CCTV cameras, and other repairs.
Roxas told media that Napoles will sleep on a double-deck steel framed bed. She will get food rations 3 times a day, but will be allowed to eat food brought in by her lawyers.
No cooking will be allowed in the premises and no appliances, other than a small refrigerator for her various medicines and an electric fan, are allowed. The expenses for the small refrigerator will be shouldered by Napoles.
She is barred from having a cellphone, and visitors will have to register in a logbook and will need to surrender their gadgets before entering the area. The public information officer of the PNP will be tasked to provide an advisory list of Napoles visitors.
A CCTV camera will monitor activity outside the detention area, specifically those who visit her.
A two-layer cyclone wire fence surrounds Fort Sto Domingo as a security measure. Part of long-range plans is to cover the fence with a sack at the appropriate time, Roxas said.
Napoles, who was in handcuffs during the transfer, was accompanied by her husband, Jimmy, said PNP SAF Director Carmelo Valmoria. She underwent a medical check-up upon her arrival.
Although she will be in SAF custody, the rules set by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) will be followed.
"Sabi nga namin, no special treatment," Valmoria said.
Valmoria said the custodial officer at the fort will decide on what she could wear while in custody.
She will be allowed to move freely inside the area, but the detention facility will be padlocked at night from 7-8 pm. It will be re-opened only in the morning, starting at 6 am.
She will be receiving regular insulin injections, and will be administered by a doctor from the SAF. A doctor will be also be on standby in case of any medical emergency, the Valmoria said.
The Makati City jail warden and the head of the Criminal Investigation Detection Group-National Capital Region recommended the transfer of Napoles.
Makati City Jail officials said they could not guarantee the safety of Napoles, who has been linked to an intricate web of corruption involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund, lawmakers and fictitious NGOs.
She is however being detained on charges of serious illegal detention, a non-bailable offense. - With reports from Bea Cupin, Michael Bueza and Angela Casauay/ Rappler.com