Sandiganbayan 1st Division denies NBI jail transfer for Napoles Featured

Sandiganbayan 1st Division denies NBI jail transfer for Napoles Photo: NO TO NBI DETENTION. Alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles is all smiles on May 10, 2017 as she appears at the Sandiganbayan in civilian clothes following her acquittal before the Court of Appeals. Photo by Rappler

This is a developing story

MANILA, Philippines - The 1st division of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan denied the request of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to be transferred to the custodial center of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and instead ordered her moved to the regular Camp Bagong Diwa jail in Taguig.

No less than Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II supported Napoles' plea for a transfer to the NBI.

But on Monday, May 15, the court's 1st division rejected this and granted the prosecution's motion to transfer Napoles from the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

The court's 3rd and 5th divisions, where Napoles also has plunder cases, have to sign off on the order before a transfer is made. The 3rd division is set to hear the same issue at 1:30 pm while the 5th division is waiting for the prosecution to submit its comment.

In the event that all 3 divisions rule that Napoles has to be transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa, 3 commitment orders have to be issued which will be personally taken by the court sherriff to the CIW.

In an open court hearing on Monday, 1st division justices said there was no evidence that Napoles will face danger in Camp Bagong Diwa. (READ: Where do PH judicial bodies stand in the Napoles case?)

Napoles' lawyer Stephen David had told the court that his client has been receiving "everyday threats" and that she would find her things scattered inside her detention cell.

David was not present during Monday's hearing to argue for Napoles' case to be transferred to NBI.

Aguirre supports the NBI transfer and has already ordered them to check their facilities if they can accommodate Napoles. It is the Sandiganbayan that has the last say on where Napoles would be transferred. (READ: FACT CHECK: What can Aguirre's DOJ do in the Napoles case?) – Rappler.com

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