By GENALYN D. KABILING
As authorities search almost every corner of the country for the most wanted woman, Malacañang has appealed to Janet Napoles to just surrender and face the charges filed against her.
“The President has a favorite statement that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear,” Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.
Valte, however, agreed the escape of Napoles was an admission of guilt. “Normally it is established in jurisprudence that flight is a sign of guilt,” she said.
Napoles and her brother, Reynald Lim, have managed to evade authorities seeking their arrest in connection with charges of illegal detention of Benhur Luy, the whistleblower of the pork barrel scam. Napoles has been accused of masterminding the P10-billion scam using pork barrel funds of lawmakers for bogus projects.
Valte asserted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) teams are following “every lead” to locate and apprehend Napoles.
Recognizing the limited number of arresting officers, Valte also echoed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s call for a citizen’s arrest of Napoles.
“A citizen’s arrest is legal,” Valte said, adding that since an arrest warrant has already been issued against Napoles, any person can bring the fugitive to the nearest police station.
Persons who have information about the whereabouts of Napoles can also contact authorities for immediate action, according to Valte.
“We understand an ordinary citizen would be reluctant to effect a citizen’s arrest. It’s not uncommon in other countries but here in the Philippines, it’s very uncommon because we’re not confrontational that way,” she said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)