MANILA (UPDATED) – There was no "special treatment" on how authorities took custody of fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, Interior Sec. Mar Roxas said early Thursday.
Roxas said there were no deals made with Napoles in exchange for her surrender other than guaranteeing her safety amid alleged security threats.
Roxas said Napoles, through her lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan, sent "voluntary surrender feelers" to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday.
Kapunan and Lacierda used to work at the same law firm.
According to Roxas, Napoles and her husband were picked up by authorities at an undisclosed location and were brought to Malacañang to meet with the President.
Roxas said Napoles and the President had a brief exchange that lasted for about 15 minutes before she was turned over to the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police.
"Dinesesyunan ng Pangulo na mahalaga na maibalik sa ambit of the law si Ms. Janet Napoles bilang mahalagang witness para malaman ang buong katotohanan dito sa alegasyon ng korapsyon," he told reporters at a press conference at Camp Crame, where Napoles is being temporarily detained.
Roxas said an office inside Camp Crame was vacated and will serve as the detention cell of Napoles, who is facing charges of serious illegal detention, a non-bailable offense.
“Mahalaga na ma-secure siya para malaman natin ang katotohanan. Ang punto dito ay ginagawa natin ang lahat para malaman ang katotohanan. Hindi ko sinasabi na tanggap natin ang lahat ng sasabihin niya, ang mahalaga buhay siya at may pagkakataon na pakinggan ang panig niya,” he said.
He said Napoles is not an influential person, but there is a "security threat" because she is tagged as one of the major players in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Roxas added that the reward for information on the whereabouts of Napoles’ brother, Reynald Lim, still stands.
Kapunan, in a separate interview with dzMM, said Lim is expected to surrender in the coming days.
Roxas, in an interview on dzMM early Thursday morning, said the government is not ruling out possibility of Napoles becoming a state witness.
"Isang avenue ito na bukas sa pamahalaan, kung may kontribusyon sa impormasyon at ebidensya si Napoles," he said.
He insisted, however, that no deals were made for Napoles' surrender.
He said Napoles did not discuss the alleged threats to her life in her conversation with President Aquino.
"Ang napag-usapan lang kanina ay 'yung kaalaman niya na may banta sa kanyang buhay at ang kanyang appeal na (mabigyan ng seguridad)," he said.
Roxas said he understands Napoles' fears.
"Kung totoo iyung sinasabi ng mga whistleblower na may ledger, ikaw mangangamba ka rin," he said, citing allegations by pork barrel scam whistleblowers that Napoles has documents showing her reported cash transactions with lawmakers involved in the anomaly.
"Hindi ko alam kung red book iyan o black book. Hindi na kami dumating diyan," Roxas said.