SolGen wants Napoles’ extort claim vs De Lima probed

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The government should look into the claim of detained pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles that Sen. Leila de Lima attempted to extort money from her in connection with the serious illegal detention case against her, Solicitor General Jose Calida said yesterday.

“De Lima’s extortion must be investigated. Napoles already confirmed it,” Calida told The STAR.

Calida said the statement of Napoles, if proven, could lead to more criminal charges against De Lima, who is already detained while facing drug trafficking cases in court.

Calida also stressed that the development could boost his office’s position that Napoles should be acquitted in the case involving the serious illegal detention of Benhur Luy, the eventual whistle-blower in the pork barrel scam cases.

In a recent interview, Napoles claimed that De Lima attempted to extort money from her in exchange for not reopening her serious illegal detention case when she was still secretary of justice.

She insisted that she never detained her second cousin and former employee Luy, who turned state witness in the pork scam cases.

Napoles also alleged that the investigation against her had long been terminated by the Department of Justice (DOJ), but De Lima and some other personalities allegedly threatened to reopen the case if she would not pay up.

She said it was De Lima who personally asked the money from her.

In June 2013, the DOJ dismissed the serious illegal detention complaint against Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.

The DOJ, however, reversed its earlier decision following a motion for reconsideration by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and filed the case before the Makati regional trial court (RTC), which ordered Napoles and Lim’s arrest in August 2013.



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