Court upholds warrant committing Napoles to women’s prison



THE Sandiganbayan’s First Division maintained its warrant committing Janet Lim-Napoles to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong following its ruling that convicted her of plunder in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel scam.

In a hearing on Friday morning, the court thumbed down Napoles’ plea to set aside the mittimus which it released on December 28 and which was addressed to the CIW director of prisons.

“There’s nothing wrong with the mittimus,” Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz, chairman of the court’s First Division, said in open court.

The court thus denied her motion for lack of merit.

Napoles is detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility at Camp BagongDiwa in Taguig. Her camp had asked the court to set aside the mittimus on the ground that it was Associate Justice Edgar Caldona, the junior member of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division, who signed as “Chairperson.”

According to de la Cruz, the court’s internal rules provides the senior member will be the one to act as chairman if the chairman is absent. He said that both he and senior member Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg were on official leave at the time.—MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO