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Warden recommends Napoles transfer

MANILA, Philippines - The warden of the Makati City jail where Janet Lim Napoles is detained is recommending her transfer to another facility, saying he cannot provide "100%" protection to his "high-profile," "high-risk" inmate.

Appearing before Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court on Friday, August 30, Chief Inspector Fermin Enriquez said that if it were up to him, he will approve the transfer of Napoles to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig or Camp Crame in Quezon City. 

The court is hearing a petition of the Napoles camp for her transfer from the Makati City jail to Camp Bagong Diwa. The alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday night, August 28, and spent her first night as a detainee in Camp Crame, headquarters of the Philippine National Police. Napoles was moved to the Makati City jail Thursday night, August 29.

"We cannot 100 %, 24/7, all day long. We have inadequate personnel especially at night," Enriquez told the court.

Judge Elmo Alameda is expected to rule on the Napoles petition also on Friday.

The head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Senior Supt Roberto Fajardo, shared the same assessment. He recommended a different facility, Fort Sto Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna, because it is guarded by the PNP Special Action Force. Former Muslim rebel leader Nur Misuari was once detained in this facility following a botched mutiny under the Arroyo administration.

Fajardo said it is 45 minutes away from the court.

The Makati City jail has a total of 545 inmates (103 of whom are women) and 65 personnel, according to Fajardo. The ideal ratio between inmates and custodial officers is 1:7. The warden explained to Rappler later that out of the 65, there are only 21 custodial officers. The rest are office personnel.

Government prosecutors attempted to oppose the assessment of the warden and the CIDG. They argued it's going to be risky to be regularly transporting Napoles from Laguna to Makati.

But Fajardo said the 45-minute transport is "better" than the 24-hour risk at the Makati City jail.

He noted: "Yung rally sa labas...baka mag-rally din sa loob." (The protests outside...might just happen inside.) - Rappler.com