The Daily Manila Shimbun


Government lawyers won’t appeal Napoles acquittal

May 10, 2017

Government lawyers will not appeal the acquittal of suspected pork barrel architect Janet Lim - Napoles for serious illegal detention case before the Court of Appeals. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said the justice department will not file a motion for reconsideration over the decision of the Court of Appeals clearing Napoles of illegal detention charges of whistleblower Benhur Luy. This means the acquittal of Napoles will become final. . Aguirre said he agrees with Solicitor General Jose Calida to support the plea of Napoles  to reverse her conviction by the Makati City regional trial court. “If the solicitor general did not see basis for the prosecution, he's right to move for the dismissal of the case. It has basis because it was proven that the liberty of Mr. Luy was not fully restrained," Aguirre said in a weekly forum. "Given the evidence, I think the case for illegal detention will not prosper," Aguirre stressed. Aguirre said Calida's action is within his mandate.  "What SolGen Calida did was not extraordinary," Aguirre said. Aguirre said Napoles could be transferred from the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City to the National Bureau of Investigation or the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame. Napoles will remain in jail because of pending and non-bailable plunder cases against her in the Sandiganbayan. In 2015, Napoles was sentenced to 40 years in prison by Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda for detaining Luy, who is also her cousin. The detention period was from December 2012 until March 2013. But in a 35-page decision penned by Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro, the CA’s 12th division granted the appeal filed by Napoles and reversed the verdict of the Makati court. DMS