By Czarina Nicole Ong
Pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is insisting on getting bail for her plunder charge with former senator Juan Ponce Enrile as she replied to the comment made by the prosecution before the Supreme Court (SC).
In the copy of the reply furnished to the Sandiganbayan Third Division, Napoles said through her lawyers Stephen David and Romeo Villarta III that she “respectfully disagrees” with the arguments made by the prosecution.
She earlier filed a petition for certiorari before the SC, hoping that the SC intervenes with her motion to be granted bail. A petition for certiorari gives a higher court the jurisdiction to review a decision of a lower court.
Napoles, unsatisfied with the way the Sandiganbayan Third Division handled her plunder charge, filed the petition on February 13, 2017 stating that there is “no strong evidence” that she amassed ill-gotten wealth in the amount of at least P50 million, so she should be allowed bail.
Napoles believes the court should not give weight to the testimonies given by whistleblowers such as Benhur Luy, since these are merely “hearsay evidence.”
“Even the testimonies of the whistleblowers themselves failed to prove the alleged conspiracy between [Napoles], Senator Enrile and Atty. Gigi Reyes,” the reply reads. “Benhur Luy admitted that he did not witness any meeting between Senator Enrile and [Napoles]. In fact, none of the witnesses testified that they were privy to or have personal knowledge about the supposed agreement.”
Napoles’ lawyers also believe that her petition would “stand on its own merits,” since it is clear the Sandiganbayan Third Division “acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”
In her prayer, Napoles hopes that the SC would allow her bid to post bail since prosecution failed to present a strong evidence for her plunder charge.