By AARON RECUENCO
Janet Lim Napoles, the controversial businesswoman linked in the R10-billion “pork barrel” scam, was brought to a police training camp in Sta. Rosa, Laguna yesterday.
A convoy of several vehicles, including a van that carried Napoles, left the Makati City Jail at dawn, escorted by several motorcycle-riding policemen. They arrived at Fort Santo Domingo at 6 a.m.
Napoles, who was in handcuffs, was turned over to Supt. Francis Reglos, PMP-SAF commandant.
The elaborate security provided Napoles became necessary because of the fate that befell Ozamiz gang leaders Ricky Cadavero and Wilfredo Panogalinga last July 15.
The two suspects were being escorted by police escorts back to Cavite from Camp Came for inquest when they were killed in a purported escape try.
However, investigators ruled the incident as a police rubout.
The camp is home to the Special Action Force, the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Napoles was transferred on the order of a Makati court, hearing a serious illegal detention charge filed by former associate Benhur Luy.
The court granted the appeal filed by Lorna Kapunan, Napoles’ counsel, who cited the death threats against her client.
Jail officials admitted that they could not secure Napoles while in their custody, prompting the judge to order Napoles’ transfer to the sprawling camp, 38 kilometers south of Manila.
She was taken to the same bungalow where former President Joseph Estrada stayed during his incarceration. Former tenants include Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari and Sen. Gringo Honasan.
Napoles underwent medical examination before settling to her new home, far from the lavish comfort of her residences.
The bungalow, sealed from the outside by wired fences covered with tarpaulin, measures 82 square meters. It has a receiving room of roughly 40 square meters.
Napoles will stay in a 19.2 square meter room, probably the same size of her comfort room in one of her reported 28 properties.
The other room, just 12.8 square meters, will be occupied by two of her guards. Both rooms are without airconditioning.
Napoles, however, will be allowed to bring a personal refrigerator that will be used for her medications.
Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief police information officer, said it took some time before transferring Napoles because of security concerns.
“We need to ensure that the place is adequately secured and adequately prepared,” said Sindac.
No less than Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima inspected the bungalow-type building.
President Aquino, to whom Napoles surrendered, had come under fire for giving her special treatment, a charge denied by administration officials.