Lawyer: SC will get Napoles out of detention
MANILA -- Lawyer Lorna Kapunan believes that businesswoman Janet Napoles will be able to secure freedom from detention via the Supreme Court.
Napoles is set to appear on Monday before the Makati Regional Trial Court for her arraignment in the serious illegal detention case filed by former assistant Benhur Luy, who has linked her to the pork scam.
Kapunan’s team failed to have the arraignment reset anew despite a pending motion before the Court of Appeals.
Even then, “I am 110 percent sure, even if we lose in the Court of Appeals, we will win in the Supreme Court,” she told ABS-CBN’s "Bottomline."
Kapunan filed a petition before the appellate court in August that questioned the warrant of arrest the trial court issued against Napoles and her brother, Reynald, who remains at large. She said the trial court judge, Elmo Alameda, committed grave abuse of discretion for not giving Napoles due process.
“You know what’s unfair? While 31 or 32 others [respondents in plunder charge] are out, she is in detention for something not related to plunders. That’s why we’re trying to get her out…[The arrest and consequent detention] is one clear instance that they goofed and they goofed badly,” Kapunan said.
She believes that the case against Napoles has been “orchestrated by someone.”
In fact, a perjury complaint has already been filed against Luy before state prosecutors.
“As regards this legal detention, [Luy] is lying…Regarding the pork scam, [he is] partly [lying],” she said.
‘Not just an ambulance chaser’
It was also in this context that she earlier called Luy’s lawyer, Levito Baligod, an “ambulance chaser.”
Kapunan earlier alleged that Baligod had been going around to source clients in going against Napoles, with affidavits supposedly ready for their signatures.
“That’s the kindest thing I could say about him,” she said, later on mimicking the sound used to block offensive words on television.
Asked for Napoles’ version without stepping on sub judice rules, Kapunan only said: “She did not invent it. Before Napoles was born, there was already a pork barrel. It’s not as if you and I are hearing it for the first time, come on.”
The lawyer welcomed the filing of the plunder raps, saying this opens the door for her to finally battle the charges in a formal venue.
Before, “the enemy was faceless…I’m very happy that the plunder case has been filed, then it becomes a forum or venue I’m familiar with. There are two sides, or many sides, but you are an advocate for your client,” she said.
Kapunan fears, however, that with the voluminous documents submitted by the camp of Luy to the Department of Justice, “the government may not be able to prove its case.”
She said the “quantity of evidence” is not an assurance for a win.
In fact, the government’s failure may not even bode well for her client, she said. “We want people accountable to be accountable,” Kapunan said.