PNP defers Napoles transfer to Taguig jail
MANILA, Philippines – Despite an order by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to transfer businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles to a jail in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has not executed the order until it has sought clarification from the courts handling her cases.
The Sandiganbayan's 3rd division on Saturday, July 26, reiterated its order for Napoles' transfer, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
This comes a day after it resolved that Napoles' current place of detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) Training School in Fort Sto Domingo in Laguna "is not a jail."
The 3rd division is hearing plunder and graft cases filed against Napoles in connection with the diversion of millions of pesos in development funds coursed through fake non-government organizations.
Napoles is currently detained in Fort Sto Domingo on orders from the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 150, in connection with serious illegal detention charges filed by her former aide Benhur Luy.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) initially said they would follow the Sandiganbayan's order, but later said it would be best to clarify which commitment order should prevail.
"We have to know which [order takes] precedence. It is not for the PNP to interpret, it is for the court. That is the [standard operating procedure]," PNP spokesperson Chief Superintended Reuben Theodore Sindac said in the Inquirer report.
Napoles' lawyer Stephen David said that the jurisdiction of the Makati court should be respected by the Sandiganbayan.
But Sandiganbayan's 3rd Division Clerk of Court Dennis Pulma said the anti-graft court's order is not in conflict with the order of the Makati court directing Napoles' detention at Fort Sto Domingo.
He said the Sandiganyaban "did not divest" the Makati court of its jurisdiction over the serious illegal detention case, Inquirer reported.
Meanwhile, Kabataan Partylist Representative Terry Ridon warned the PNP may be held in contempt for the delays in executing the Sandiganbayan's order.
In an ABS-CBN report, Ridon said the PNP should respect the order of the Sandiganbayan, a higher court.
He added, the Makati RTC would respect the anti-graft court's order.
"There is no reason for the delay of her commitment to Bicutan as we are certain that the [Makati] RTC would respect the order of the Sandiganbayan, which is a court of higher and national jurisdiction,” Ridon said.
ABS-CBN reported the Makati RTC had already conceded to the Sandiganbayan's order, saying the PNP may transfer Napoles and process the paperwork after the move. – Rappler.com