SC rejects Napoles’ bail request
THE Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down the appeal of Janet Lim-Napoles to be granted bail in the plunder and other cases against her over her alleged misuse of the lawmakers’ multi-billion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel.
The high court dismissed Napoles’ petition assailing the Sandiganbayan’s decisions denying her bail application on the ground that the evidence against her was strong.
The high court upheld the rulings of the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division in October 2015 and March 2016.
“The Court found that the Sandiganbayan had not gravely abused its discretion in denying the petition,” the high court said through its spokesman Theodore Te.
In her petition in July, Napoles asked that she be granted bail in the plunder case against her and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile before the third division of the anti-graft court.
She argued she should be allowed to post bail in her case—just like Enrile―because the prosecutors “failed to present strong evidence.”
She said the charge that she and the other defendants accumulated at least P50 million in ill-gotten wealth should “fall into pieces as the amount of money pilfered cannot be exactly determined.”
Napoles also alleged that the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion in denying her earlier plea for bail.
Her camp earlier claimed that her acquittal by the Court of Appeals in the serious illegal detention case had destroyed the credibility of Benhur Luy as witness in the pork barrel cases.
In August 2015, the high court granted the petition for bail of Enrile in the same plunder case with Napoles before the Sandiganbayan due to his “advanced age and poor health.”
The two other former senators indicted with Napoles in separate plunder cases before the anti-graft court―Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.―also filed bail petitions, and the Sandiganbayan’s special fifth division granted Estrada’s plea in September.
Napoles had previously filed several petitions before the high court seeking to stop her indictment in the PDAF cases, but all were dismissed by the high court.