MANILA, Aug 14 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim , the alleged brains in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, for serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said a case was filed before a Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Tuesday against Napoles and Lim for allegedly kidnapping Luy last December.
The case was raffled off to Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda.
“The warrants of arrest were issued this afternoon by Makati City RTC Branch 150, RTC-Makati vs Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim in the serious illegal detention case,” de Lima said in a text message.
De Lima, who was interviewed immediately after her agency’s budget briefing at the Lower House, also said that no bail was recommended by the court.
She said she instructed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to immediately secure a copy of the warrant so that it can be served.
De Lima earlier clarified no one has been charged yet for the pork barrel scam, wherein Napoles has also been tagged.
“We are committed to continue with investigation into the pork barrel scam (and) Malampaya fund scam,” she told ANC on Wednesday night.
She said the charges against Napoles and Lim were filed after a DOJ resolution overturned an earlier resolution dated June 10, 2013 that junked the case filed by the NBI against Napoles and her brother.
As of posting, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) team was on its way to Napoles’ house to implement the arrest warrant.
‘Detained for 3 months’
Luy, a former employee of the JLN Group of Companies, accused Napoles, her brother, and two others of etaining him against his will from December 19, 2012 to March 22 this year.
He said he was detained by the respondents for fear he may spill the beans on their alleged involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam at the time of the Arroyo administration.
Luy claimed that his boss, Napoles, set up more than 20 fake NGOs and foundations, and used the names of househeld helpers, drivers, relatives, and employees to get billions of pesos from lawmakers’ pork barrel funds.
He said Napoles now has so much money that she has bought more than 50 house and lots at high-end subdivisions and owns 15 luxury vehicles.
The Napoles camp has denied Luy’s allegations.
Napoles’ lawyer, Bruce Rivera, said all his client’s assets were acquired legally, and the allegations against her are baseless.
“Wala si Benhur Luy na kredibilidad… May mga properties po na ipinakita na hindi naman pag-aari ni Janet Lim. Pero kung meron man na pagmamay-ari niya ay sigurado po kami na hindi galing sa kaban ng bayan yun, pinaghirapan ng pamilya yun,” he said.
Napoles, in filing a 19-page comment and opposition with her brother, had urged the DOJ to junk the motions for reconsideration separately filed by Luy and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that sought to reverse the department’s June 10 resolution.
She claimed that Luy “voluntarily” submitted himself to a “3-month spiritual recollection,” and that “it was by his own volition not to go home to his family” until the retreat was completed.
Napoles also said the allegations against her on the pork barrel, fertilizer funds, and Malampaya scams are “too speculative.” (MNS)