Chiz pushes transfer of Janet Lim Napoles to regular jail

Manila, Philippines - Senator Chiz Escudero said today in the continuation of the pork barrel scam investigation in the Senate that the alleged 'brains' behind the P10-billion scam Janet Lim-Napoles should be moved to a regular jail because her continued detention in a special facility would only encourage those who are contemplating to commit crimes in the future.

Janet Lim Napoles in the Senate hearing

Escudero pointed out that keeping Napoles in a special jail sets a bad precedent and sends the wrong signal to the public, and therefore should be transferred to a regular prison cell.

"My problem here is quite simple. Those who have plundered the national coffers in billions get to stay in Sta. Rosa or any hospital much to their comfort. Those whose crimes pale so much in comparison with Napoles - the cell phone snatchers and the street snatchers - languish in cramped and dingy jails. It's like teaching our children that if they must steal, steal big so at least you get to be jailed in the comfort of those special cells," Escudero said.

Since Napoles' appearance last year before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Escudero has been pushing for her transfer to a regular jail.

And in today's hearing, the senator again questioned Justice Secretary Leila de Lima why Napoles, dubbed as the pork barrel scam queen by media, still enjoys the comfort of a special cell facility despite being uncooperative with the government in ferreting out the truth.

"I just find it difficult to swallow the situation right now that she keeps her ground and not talk, we spend so much for her and yet we are not getting anything from her. As soon as she opens her mouth, perhaps that's when we should secure and protect her," Escudero said.

He further asked De Lima: "Did it not cross your mind that placing her in a regular jail, along with all other accused of crimes, will persuade her to talk and spill on what she knows about this scam? Maybe if she gets a taste of how decrepit it is to live in a regular jail, she will crack?"

According Escudero, the security threats being peddled to keep Napoles in Sta. Rosa are a lame excuse and cannot justify the special treatment she gets.

"It's just too much to bear that she gets to be treated so special with all the works of a special convoy whenever she goes out of Sta. Rosa. Not even the President parades on the street with those decoy vehicles, decoy convoy on regular days," Escudero pointed out.

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