MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has said alleged “pork barrel scam” mastermind Janet Napoles should stay at Fort Sto. Domingo to keep her safe from those implicated in the pork barrel scam and who are now being investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee who might want to harm her.
“For me, it would be better to jail her separately so we can preserve whatever she knows and give her a chance to disclose the details of this pilferage of billions of pesos in people’s money,” Roxas said.
The statement came amid allegations of special treatment accorded to Napoles and growing calls for the government to move her from the Laguna detention facility to a regular jail.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier revealed spending at least P120,000 on each occasion Napoles is escorted out of Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and a P150,000 a month just keep her there.
A few days ago, the public was outraged after watching a heavily guarded Napoles transported from her detention facility for a medical check-up at Camp Crame, provoking criticisms of supposed special treatment enjoyed by someone accused of plundering millions of taxpayer’s money.
But Roxas said transferring Napoles to common prison cell may pose problem to her security, adding he doesn’t want the government to be blamed if anything happened to her.
“It’s very possible that something bad might happen to her and the government would be accused of intentionally exposing her to danger to permanently silence her…and to protect the allies of the Aquino administration. Then that would be an issue against the government,” he explained.
Roxas said this will also give Napoles a chance to reconsider spilling the beans against those implicated in the anomaly, while he expressed hopes about a change of Napoles’s mind to come soon.
“Let’s give her protection so that we can preserve whatever is in her mind,” he added.
However, Roxas clarified the PNP is just complying with the Makati Regional Trial Court order to keep Napoles at her detention facility in Fort Sto. Domingo.
He said it would still be up to the court to determine the necessity of transferring her to Makati City Jail.
This would only happen, according to Roxas, once the Department of Justice (DOJ) concludes her testimony is no longer required or bears weight in the on-going investigation.