Palace to Miriam: Bring pay-for-stay suggestion to court

Posted at 03/14/14 8:07 PM

MANILA -- Malacañang on Friday advised Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to bring her suggestion to compel Janet Lim Napoles to pay for the upkeep of her special detention center to the proper court.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Napoles, who is detained for a case of serious illegal detention filed by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, is under the jurisdiction of the court.

"Her current place of detention was court mandated. And as such, the conditions of her confinement are laid out by the court. The one, in particular, exercising jurisdiction over her person. Because of that, it is the court -- that we are speaking of -- that will determine if any change in those conditions is warranted. It should be the court really that these proposals should be addressed to," she said.

Valte took in stride the costs of Napoles' confinement which is reportedly at P150,000 a month.

"You know unfortunately these are the attendant expenses that come with giving security to a high-risk detainee. And as we've said in the past, government cannot be remiss in the duties that are expected of us."

She added that Santiago can also propose a bill similar to a law in the US for paid special detention centers.

"Unless in the subsequent days, Senator Miriam Santiago will propose via legislation an adoption of the pay-for-stay system similar to the one that is existing in the United States," Valte said.

Speaking at De La Salle University's 1st Business Law conference on Friday, Santiago urged President Aquino to implement a "pay-for-stay" program and have Napoles pay the expenses of her detention.

She said she finds "no substantial reason" for government to pay for such a big amount especially since Napoles has "refused to cooperate" and has not given information about the pork barrel scam.