Supreme Court rejects Napoles bid for temporary release amid COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to be temporarily released from detention on humanitarian grounds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Napoles —  tagged as the mastermind of the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam —  had filed a motion for recognizance/bail or house arrest for humanitarian reason, claiming she is at risk of contracting the coronavirus inside prison due to her diabetes.

But in a 13-page resolution made public on Wednesday, the high court denied her bid, citing her earlier conviction.

“Napoles’ allegation is a question of fact which is not within the province of this Court to determine. Neither can the Court take judicial notice of her medical condition,” the ruling read.

“However, even assuming that she is indeed suffering from diabetes, that, in itself, is not sufficient to grant her provisional liberty, post-conviction,” it added, further noting that one’s presumption of innocence and Constitutional right to bail end “after the accused’s conviction of a capital offense.”

Napoles is the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam, where funds allotted for lawmakers’ projects were funneled into bogus non-government organizations.

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/PEM — AdChoiceTV News (Manila)

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