To justify the alleged special treatment and over-the-top security measures implemented by the government to protect controversial businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, her lawyer painted a dire scenario.
“Can you imagine the public uproar if she gets killed under the watch of the President?" asked Atty. Lorna Kapunan in an interview with Jessica Soho on GMA News TV’s “State of the Nation” Tuesday night. "Can you imagine what will happen? I can imagine: They will blame it on him.”
Napoles, the alleged facilitator in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, over a separate case of serious illegal detention involving the scam's supposed whistleblower.
After surrendering to no less than President Benigno Aquino III last Wednesday night, Napoles was brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City before she was transferred to Makati City Jail.
But citing security reasons, Napoles' camp asked the Makati court handling her case to transfer her to Fort Sto. Domingo, home of the national police's Special Action Force. The court granted this request.
During the interview, Kapunan reiterated that her client's life is in danger.
“The threats are very real. It is something we cannot invent,” Kapunan said, adding that even she has been receiving threats.
Asked if she knew where the death threats were coming from, Kapunan replied: “You know, some of them are in uniform. Some of them are not. And I’ve seen them myself. The cars are being followed, even my car is being followed.”
Meanwhile, Kapunan denied cutting a deal with the government following her client’s surrender. “It’s not for the government, it’s for the courts to decide the prosecution or the state makes a recommendation. But it is the court that approves. So, we have not made any [arrangement].”
She, however, noted they could ask for a deal but only “at the appropriate time.”
File the case
Kapunan, meanwhile, dared the Department of Justice to file a complaint against Napoles in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam, even as she described the accusation against her client as “hearsay” and "speculation."
“What precisely we're saying is, file the case because you cannot comment, you cannot oppose a speculation. It’s hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay,” she opined.
She added that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is investigating the alleged scam, “keeps releasing piece-meal testimony or piece-meal document to the media.”
“This is one-sided factual investigation,” Kapunan added.
She also questioned why her client was made to appear as the “poster person” of the pork barrel issue.
“The more we spin the story and make her guilty for everything, you will not solve their case,” Kapunan said. “She is not responsible for all of each. She may be responsible for some but show us the evidence.”
“This is not an ordinary case. Ang pinag-uusapan natin, pera ng bayan. Right now, she’s being persecuted. There is trial by publicity,” she said.
Asked by Soho whether she believes that Napoles is a clean and not a corrupt person, Kapunan quipped: “I think I need a lawyer.” — Rouchelle Dinglasan/KBK, GMA News