MANILA (Mabuhay) – Despite initially opposing her transfer, alleged pork barrel fund scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles seemed to have changed her mind and now has no problems with staying in another detention facility inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.
This was according to her lawyer Bruce Rivera, who, after inspecting and being briefed about the security measures inside Camp Bagong Diwa, said they are now convinced that Napoles’ transfer from Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna was for the better.
It was a Makati court, trying her on charges of serious illegal detention, that originally ordered Napoles’ detention in Laguna. But the Sandiganbayan, which is hearing separate cases of plunder and graft against Napoles, ordered her transfer to Taguig.
Citing security reasons, Napoles’ camp initially opposed the transfer. But after the Makati court did not object to the transfer, Napoles was finally brought to Camp Bagong Diwa Monday night.
“Initially, ang issue namin is security … kasi di pa naman namin nakikita ang security set-up [that time],” Rivera said.
“But now [after] looking at the security [aspect], wala naman kaming nakitang problema,” he said. Rivera accompanied Napoles from Laguna to Taguig.
Inspector Aris Villaester, spokesman of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-National Capital Region, assured Napoles of her security while in their custody and added that she will have to first stay at a small “isolation room” inside Camp Bagong Diwa for about a week.
“With the presence of the BJMP special tactic and response team which is capable and highly trained in emergency cases and sa pagpo-provide ng secrutiy sa high profile and high risk inmates, we can guarantee the security of Napoles,” he said.
Villaester said the isolation room measures 3 meters by 3 meters, and comes with a bed and a ceiling fan.
“Medyo malungkot siya (nung inilipat dito) pero nung pinakalama naman siya ng BJMP, mas maayos na siya at (sinabihan siyang) mapo-protektahan siya at secured naman ang BJMP,” he said.
Rivera admitted that it was actually “logistically sound” for Napoles to be staying in Taguig than in Laguna because Camp Bagong Diwa is much nearer to the Sandiganbayan and the Makati Regional Trial Court.
“And for us, her lawyers, mas near na sa amin so mas makakausap namin siya more often but still by abiding by the rules,” Rivera said, adding that like the security arrangement at Fort Sto. Domingo, Napoles’ lawyers are allowed to visit her any time of the day.
Napoles’ family and relatives, meanwhile, will have to observe visiting hours, which is between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the weekends. Napoles cannot accept visitors during Mondays.
Rivera also said it would now be more convenient for him to visit Napoles, especially since he usually visits her late at night.
“Mrs. Napoles has insomnia so ang sleeping habit niya is gabi na siya nakakatulog so she would rather talk to me that time, mga 10 or 11 p.m. dumadating ako and mga 1 a.m. umaalis na ko,” said Rivera.
Rivera said after the transfer, their camp’s main concern remains to be Napoles’ health. Napoles earlier underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and womb.
“Ang sabi naman ng warden is properly taken care of siya. May nurses and doctors naman doon. Tapos sa security, puro babae naman ang kasama niya sa building,” Rivera said.
Rivera said that currently, Napoles is all by herself inside her detention cell. “Noong time na iyon inilipat siya, siya pa lang nandoon,” he said.
Rivera said her detention cell was clean and that it has basic amenities like a bed an an electric fan. The lawyer said Napoles now gets to talk with other people in the detention facility, unlike before in Laguna where she is isolated.
“She gets to meet other people may iba na kasing inmates. Mas may nakakausap na siya. She’s okay with it,” he said.
“Wala naman kami masyadong sinasabi sa facility. (Almost) a year na rin siya nakakulong and she has adjusted to it na rin,” Rivera added.
Now that the issue on her transfer is out of the way, Rivera said their team can now focus once more on their defense in the various criminal cases their client is facing.
“Actually we are already preparing for her defense. We don’t know how the state will deal with us. Hindi naman kami state witness so we do not really want to put her life in jeopardy so we will defend her,” Rivera said. (MNS)