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Palace: No special treatment for Napoles August 30, 2013 - Current Issues, News Stories - Tagged: Heritage Park,

Janet LimNapoles, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda - 0 Comments By Aerol B. Patea Manila, Aug. 29 (PNA) No special treatment was accorded to Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, when she surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed this in a press briefing in Malacanang Palace this morning. The presidential spokesperson narrated the chronology of events behind the surrender of Napoles. Lacierda related that he talked over the phone with Napoless lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan to verify reports if her client was willing to surrender. According to the secretary, Kapunan said Napoles is willing to surrender to the President because she trusts him and that the only thing she wants is that security be provided to her as her life is in danger. Lacierda met with Kapunan at White Space, Pasong Tamo in Makati City earlier last night. At around 8:06 pm, they reached Heritage Park in Taguig City wherein they met with Napoles. From Heritage Park, Lacierda brought Napoles to the Malacanang Palace and she met with the President at 9:37 pm. The President accompanied Napoles on the way to Camp Crame and he inspected the facilities within its vicinity to make sure that it was secure. After checking the premises, the President left. Asked if by surrendering to the President Napoles was given special treatment, Lacierda said: No special treatment for Napoles. The President is committed only on ensuring her safety. He also said that the President escorted Napoles to Camp Crame because he wants to ensure the security of the area as he finds this matter very seriously. Napoless meeting with the President only tackled on providing ample security preparation to her and the issue of considering Napoles as a state witness was not discussed, according to Lacierda. He added that the Ombudsman will be the one that will decide on the matter.

We have secured Napoles. Thats the most important thing. Now we can move forward, Lacierda said. By bringing her to us, the process of finding the truth can begin in earnest. Let it come out, he added. (PNA) DSP/ABP/EBP

DILG orders round-the-clock security on Napoles

August 30, 2013 - Current Issues, News Stories - Tagged: Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP),Judge Elmo Almeda, Secretary Manuel Roxas II - 0 Comments

MANILA, Aug. 30 (PNA) Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II has ordered round-theclock security on Janet Lim-Napoles, who is now detained at the Makati City Jail where she was transferred shortly before midnight on Thursday. Roxas, who led top government and law enforcement officials in overseeing the turn over of Napoles to the jail facility from Camp Crame, stressed the government wants to ensure the safety of Napoles while in police custody. According to Roxas, security teams have been formed to look after the safety of Napoles, tagged in the alleged P10billion pork barrel scam. There will be 24/7 visual security on her, two lady-cops will be assigned to her all the time, Roxas told the media after Napoles was turned over to the Makati City Jail. The DILG chief also said that security layers are in place for the safety of Napo les. Roxas said that Napoles is now staying in a small room furnished with an air-conditioning unit, an old sofa and a desk inside the Makati City Jail. He said Napoles is not mixed with the general population of the jail facility for security reasons. At present, Roxas said there are more than 100 female and more than 400 male detainees inside the Makati City Jail where Napoles was committed by Judge Elmo Almeda of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150. Incidentally, Roxas noted that one of the female deatinees was a former household help of Napoles whom she charged with qualified theft. Aside from Roxas, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima and top officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) were present during Napoles turnover to the Makati City Jail.

Napoles voluntarily surrendered to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on Wednesday night, hours after the P10-million reward was issued by the Chief Executive. She was initiallybooked at the PNP National Headquartersin Camp Crame. Napoles became a fugitive last Aug. 16 after Judge Almeda issued a warrant of arrest against her and her brother, Reynald Lim, in connection with the serious illegal detention charge filed by their relative and former staff Benhur Luy. Luy,who is now acting as state witness, tagged Napoles as the alleged brains behind the P10-billion scam involving the priority development assistance fund or pork barrel of lawmakers. (PNA) LAM/MM/EBP

Still no sign Napoles brod tried to leave PHL BI-NAIA

August 31, 2013 - Current Issues, News Stories - Tagged: ational Bureau of Investigation, Fort Sto. Domingo,Philippine National Police - 0 Comments

MANILA, Aug 31 (PNA) The Bureau of Immigration based at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Saturday said they have not yet monitored any attempt by businessman Reynald Luy Lim, Janet Lim Napoles brother, to sneak out of the country via the countrys airports. Wilson Soluren, Bureau of Immigration-NAIA intelligence division chief, said they have not yet received information that Lim tried to exit thru the countrys international airports nationwide even as he assured that he cannot slip past immigration personnel. So far wala pa kaming monitored attempt niya to exit the country ever since na nag -issue ng warrant of arrest laban sa kanila, Soluren said. He said the BI has a group of dedicated personnel who are manning the countrys international airports 24/7 and that Lim cannot escaped unnoticed. He said posters bearing vital information of Lim, including his photographs, are still placed in conspicuous places in international airports especially in immigration counters. Also, he said, agents of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation have been assisting the BI to stop any attempt by Lim to leave the country. We believe Mr. Lim is still in the country and hopefully sumuko na rin siya just like what her sister did, he added. When spotted at the airports, Lim will be immediately apprehended and turned over to either the police or the NBI. Lim and Napoles are charged for the serious illegal detention of Benhur Luy who alleged that they were involved in the P 10-billion pork barrel scam. Napoles is now under government custody after she surrendered to President Aquino III earlier this week. She is set to be transferred to Fort Sto. Domingo, home of the PNP-Special Action Force, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.(PNA) HBC/RTA
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Palace willing to discuss bases with senators

July 3, 2013 - Current Issues, News Stories - Tagged: scarborough shoal, sen. antonio trillanes IV, Sen. Francis Escudero 0 Comments

By Norman Bordadora Malacaang on Saturday said it was willing to discuss with the senators a planned agreement to give the United States and other allies access to Philippine military bases after some of the lawmakers raised concerns about the constitutionality of the plan. In an interview on state-run radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of National Defense was looking at various ways of giving the Philippines allies temporary access to the countrys military bases, but the final plan would be in accord with the Constitution and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed the study on Thursday in reaction to a foreign news report that the Philippines had plans to build new air and naval bases that US forces could use to counter Chinas creeping presence in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Gazmin clarified that the Philippines would not build new air and naval bases, but give the United States, Japan and other allies access to its military bases. Constitutional prohibition On Friday, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile raised doubts about the legality of the access plan, as the Constitution prohibits foreign military bases in the Philippines. The Senate voted 12-11 in 1991 to expel US military bases from the Philippines, but ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States in 1999 to allow US forces to conduct joint exercises with Philippine forces in the country. Sen. Loren Legarda, head of the Senate foreign relations com mittee, said any plan to give the countrys allies access to Philippine military bases should strictly accord with the VFA. Several senators also expressed reservations about the plan conceived last year amid a standoff between the Philippines and China over Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a rich fishing ground within Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea. The senators said the government needed to consult the Senate on the access plan. Valte said Malacaang understood the lawmakers concerns. We are open to discussions, she said. Enrile said the VFA allowed only temporary presence of US troops in the Philippines. They cannot establish any military base in the Philippines, Enrile said.

Temporary or whatever term they use, no military bases. If it assumes a certain degree of permanence or stability, its no longer visiting forces, he said. But if the access plan would allow foreign forces to stay in the Philippines for an unlimited period, [t]hat would be an issue before the Supreme Court, he added. Gazmin said the stay of foreign forces under the access plan would be temporary. Security situation Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a former Navy junior officer, said the Senate would wait for the final copy of the planned access agreement. If it would be a separate agreement similar to the VFA, it would need Senate approval. But if it would only [implement] prior agreements, it wont need [approval by the Senate], Trillanes said. Asked if it was in the interest of the Philippines to give its allies access to its military bases, Trillanes said, The strengthening of alliances through joint exercises and visits of forces should help improve our national security situation in general. Outgoing Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police and chair of the Senate committee on national defense, said there is a wide gray area in the access plan. The [defense department] should exercise prudence by at least consulting the senators on the matter, Lacson said. Sen. Gregorio Honasan said the Senate should take a look at the plan. Given the number of administration senators in the next Congress, the plan can be expected to win Senate approval, he said. I think because of our weaknesses (militarily), we have limited options, Honasan said. Consultations Sen. Francis Escudero, head of the Senate committee on justice, said there was no need for Senate approval. Only treaties need to be ratified by the Senate. Foreign policy and relations are still primarily within the domain of the executive branch, he said. Asked if the senators need to be consulted on the matter, Escudero said, Its always better to get the consensus or at least the opinion not only of the Senate but also of key stakeholders in order for things to flow more smoothly . He said, however, that the executive branch has sole discretion over such consultations.