By Gil Cabacungan
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda: Erring on the side of caution. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Call it overkill but Malacañang would rather err on the side of caution in protecting detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles from “those in government” who would like to see her dead.

“If you were Janet Napoles, you know a lot, and you have plenty of dealings with those in government who (would be better off) to see you dead than alive… the government would like to see her alive than dead. What would you do?” asked presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda  in a press conference. Lacierda said that his former law partner, Napoles’ counsel Lorna Kapunan, has bared the threats against her client.

“Shouldn’t government err on the side of caution, ‘di ba? We all know she is a central figure here (pork barrel scam), shouldn’t we be more careful? Some say this is overkill; overkill daw. (But) where do you draw the line between overkill and not overkill? We will be criticized if something happens to Janet Napoles,” said Lacierda.

“We should rather err on the side of caution because, for all intents and purposes, we are government. People are free to criticize the manner of protecting her, but on our side, we are accountable to the people. We will get criticized but we’d rather be criticized doing our job than being criticized for not doing our job.”

Lacierda said that the decision to transfer Napoles from the Makati city jail to Fort Santo Domingo was mainly the decision of the court.

Manila Bulletin


Manila, Philippines -- ''Get Napoles out of Sto. Domingo!''

This demand has echoed in communities surrounding Fort Sto. Domingo as people claimed that the now detention center for suspects involved in high profile cases has become a source of humiliation for Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez aired the sentiments of his constituents in a privilege speech delivered yesterday, saying that government should now stop converting the historical landmark into a detention area for crime suspects, including alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Cuartel de Sto. Domingo

Fernandez said Fort Sto. Domingo - built by Spaniards in 1877 and used to be known in the Spanish period as Cuartel de Sto. Domingo - served as a safe haven for women from Cabuyao and Calamba to protect them from being abused by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese occupation.

He added that the fort was also transformed into a ''center for commerce'' of Sta. Rosa during the Japanese occupation.
Aside from treasuring its historical importance to Sta. Rosa, Fernandez said townfolk do not want it to be a source of embarrassment as the fort has served as a detention quarter for high-profile crime suspects.

''We had the former President and now Mayor of Manila Joseph Estrada, and his son Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Gringo Honasan as previous tenants. There was also Nur Misuari, and now we have Janet Lim Napoles,'' said Fernandez.

''The people of Sta. Rosa harbor very strong emotional attachment to the Cuartel de Sto. Domingo because being indigenous people of Sta. Rosa, they are third and fourth generation of those who fought and were killed in the three battles,'' explained Fernandez.

No To Royal Treatment

Meanwhile, Dean Amado Valdez of the University of the East College of Law government should stop treating Napoles as a ''royalty'' because there is apparently no need for her in further fortifying the cases against state personalities involved in the case.
''They (Department of Justice) must not wait another two months more to file the charges against Napoles and lawmakers who have been implicated in the scam. The Commission on Audit has corroborated the evidence already in their hands,'' Valdez told reporters at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel Forum.
Food Tasters For Janet


MANILA -- Interior and Local Government Secretary raises difficulties in transporting Janet Lim Napoles to and from the Makati City court once her trial begins.

Aside from the high cost of Napoles' transfer, Roxas also noted its impact on motorists should the transfer be done during regular hours.

He said, however, they have yet to come up with a plan for Napoles' transfer.

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