Court enters ‘Not Guilty’ plea for Napoles

A helmeted Janet Napoles is escorted by police to the Makati City court.

MANILA — The Makati Regional Trial Court on Monday, Sept. 23, entered a ‘Not Guilty’ plea on behalf of Janet Lim Napoles for the serious illegal detention case filed against her by Benhur Luy.

Napoles, with  her lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan, chose not to enter a plea before the sala of Judge Elmo Alameda of Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court.

Handcuffed and wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet, Napoles appeared Monday for her arraignment at Branch 150 of Makati RTC at 1: 15 p.m under very tight security.

Napoles, together with her brother Reynald Lim who is still at large, is charged for allegedly detaining Luy against his will, a former employee JLN Group of Companies owned by Napoles. Luy, the whistleblower in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, is now under the custody of the Department of Justice.

Napoles, through her legal counsel, requested the Makati RTC to move her arraignment to Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna but Alameda ruled the motion as “moot and academic.”

Napoles left the court room as quickly as possible as members of the media tried to get close to her.

Napoles is also facing plunder charges filed by the National Bureau of Investigation for being the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam that involved lawmakers and other individuals from her bogus non-government organizations.

Napoles will  be taken back to her detention facility at Fort Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.