Napoles appeals to anti-graft court: Grant me bail

MANILA, Philippines – Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles has urged the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to let her post bail in a P172-million* ($3.65-million) plunder case tagged as the biggest corruption scandal in recent Philippine history.

In a 26-page motion for reconsideration, Napoles said prosecutors failed to present enough evidence against her.

She said prosecutors, in particular, failed to prove a conspiracy between her and public officials such as Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

The case involves the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam allegedy masterminded by Napoles. (READ: Looking at plunder in the PDAF cases)

Napoles told the Sandiganbayan through her lawyer, Romeo Villarta III: “With all due respect, there was no evidence, whether direct or indirect, that Senator Enrile agreed with any of the other accused with respect to the commission of the crime of plunder. Without an overt criminal act that may be ascribed against Enrile…the alleged conspiracy is certainly wanting.”

Evidence ‘mere conjectures’

She added: “(T)he evidence presented by the prosecution to prove the alleged conspiracy are mere conjectures, suppositions, and assumptions which do not have any evidentiary value. Conspiracy cannot be established by mere conjectures but by positive and conclusive evidence.”

This comes after the Sandiganbayan Third Division, in a resolution dated October 16, denied Napoles’ petition to post bail. 

The anti-graft court also said the prosecution has presented enough evidence to support the plunder charge against Napoles.

In her motion for reconsideration, Napoles added that her signature was not on any of the documents presented by the prosecution.

“To avoid facing charges, the whistleblowers conveniently devised fictitious orders coming from accused Napoles, a very strategic escape…for them to be simply cleared of any charges for their crimes,” Napoles said. 

She also said the whistleblowers themselves, not her, profited from the scam linked to her name. –

*$1 = P47.14