By Aerol B. Pateña
Manila, (PNA) — No special treatment was accorded to Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, when she surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed this in a press briefing in Malacanang Palace this morning.
The presidential spokesperson narrated the chronology of events behind the surrender of Napoles.
Lacierda related that he talked over the phone with Napoles’s lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan to verify reports if her client was willing to surrender. According to the secretary, Kapunan said Napoles is willing to surrender to the President because she trusts him and that the only thing she wants is that security be provided to her as her life is in danger.
Lacierda met with Kapunan at White Space, Pasong Tamo in Makati City earlier last night. At around 8:06 pm, they reached Heritage Park in Taguig City wherein they met with Napoles.
From Heritage Park, Lacierda brought Napoles to the Malacanang Palace and she met with the President at 9:37 pm.
The President accompanied Napoles on the way to Camp Crame and he inspected the facilities within its vicinity to make sure that it was secure. After checking the premises, the President left.
Asked if by surrendering to the President Napoles was given special treatment, Lacierda said: “No special treatment for Napoles. The President is committed only on ensuring her safety”.
He also said that the President escorted Napoles to Camp Crame because he wants to ensure the security of the area as he finds this matter very seriously.
Napoles’s meeting with the President only tackled on providing ‘ample security preparation’ to her and the issue of considering Napoles as a state witness was not discussed, according to Lacierda. He added that the Ombudsman will be the one that will decide on the matter.
“We have secured Napoles. That’s the most important thing. Now we can move forward,” Lacierda said.
“By bringing her to us, the process of finding the truth can begin in earnest. Let it come out,” he added.