No ‘wheelchair defense’ for Napoles: Kapunan

Bea Cupin

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Lorna Kapunan says her client feels better now, a day after she was rushed to the hospital

IN DEFENSE OF NAPOLES. Lawyer Lorna Kapunan in a file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Contrary to what many people are thinking, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles will not use a “wheelchair defense” or ask for a hospital arrest as she faces serious illegal detention charges.

Napoles’ lawyer Lorna Kapunan told media on Friday, October 25, they would not be taking that route. “Ang hospital arrestnabenta na yan. Marami nang gumamit ng hospital arrest na yan,” she said. (A lot of people have used the hospital arrest as a defense against detention.)

Kapunan said that as of Friday morning, Napoles is getting better. Napoles is currently detained at the Fort Sto Domingo in Sta Rosa, Laguna. On Thursday, October 24, Napoles was rushed to a nearby hospital because of pain, nausea, and constant vomiting.

“After examination, the resident doctor of the hospital confirmed that she has gallbladder stones,” said Kapunan. “Kung may kailangan ng hospital arrest… this will be the recommendation not by the lawyers. This is not a legal issue,” she said. (If we need a hospital arrest, it will not be from Napoles’ lawyers.)

Watch her statement below.

She said it will be up to the doctor at Fort Sto Domingo to determine if Napoles needs to be confined.

Napoles is scheduled to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on November 7, to testify on the pork barrel scam.

Asked about Napoles’ situation in jail, Kapunan said: “She’s practically in solitary confinement.”

On top of the illegal detention charges she’s facing in a Makati court, Napoles is also an accused in a plunder complaint before the Ombudsman.

Her former aide Benhur Luy, who has turned against her, testified in court on Friday, October 25, about Napoles’ moves leading to his “detention.” –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.