Napoles’ former maid freed

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A former housemaid of alleged pork barrel scam brains businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles was released yesterday from the Makati City Jail where she had been detained since February for qualified theft after the local court acquitted her.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said Napoles’ maid Dominga Cadelina was released from the Makati jail at about 1:30 p.m. after the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 145 acquitted her of the charges filed by her employer.

According to Acosta, the court junked the case of qualified theft against Cadelina filed by Napoles’ husband Jaime and her brother Reynald Lim for lack of evidence.

“The prosecution having failed to adduce the required quantum evidence to establish the proof of guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt and having determined that the evidence at hand is insufficient, this case is ordered dismissed both as to criminal and civil aspects of the case,” read the court decision signed by Judge Carlito Calpatura.

Acosta said Cadelina was slapped with the case of qualified theft after Jaime Napoles and Lim accused the housemaid of stealing four panties and two handbags from Napoles.

The complainants said the alleged stolen panties were worth $800 each even though they were only able to present receipts showing that the panties were worth $8 each.

Acosta added that the court also questioned why the two men acted as the complainants in the case and not Mrs. Napoles herself.

“The court said the complainants should have included some women. They also padded the value of the alleged stolen items in order to make the case non-bailable. The complaint was fabricated. She has been acquitted by the court,” said Acosta.

Acosta said Cadelina, a native of Davao City, was accompanied by two relatives after her release from jail and she was brought to the Evangelista Hospital in San Pedro, Laguna for checkup.

“She will have to be confined at the hospital for at least two days until doctors determine what is causing her severe hypertension,” Acosta told The STAR.

Acosta said she personally intervened in Cadelina’s case two weeks ago and took over from the PAO lawyer assigned to her case.

She said the PAO would provide Cadelina with security after she expressed fear for her safety.

“Ayaw ngang lumabas at sumama sa amin kanina. Natatakot siya at nasa labas pa raw si Reynald Lim at si Jaime Napoles. Acosta said Cadelina  refused to go with them, fearing that Jaime and Reynald Lim are still at large.

Acosta said Cadelina would temporarily stay at a PAO safehouse since she is not under the government’s witness protection program.

Napoles, through lawyer Lorna Kapunan, had asked the Makati RTC Branch 150 to have her detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna instead of at the Makati City Jail where Cadelina was also detained.      











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