The high cost of Napoles imprisonment


Janet Lim-Napoles making different gestures.

Janet Lim-Napoles making different gestures.

It has been reported that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is spending approximately P150,000 a month in making sure that Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged PDAF scam mastermind, stays healthy and safe in her detention cell in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

According to Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP public information office chief, the amount is only for the payment of electricity bills, three times a day meal and other expenses used in compensating the doctors that looks after her and the policemen assigned to secure her.

What makes it even more staggering is when you consider that funds has still to be sourced out by the cash-strapped police organization not only when transporting the heavily guarded Napoles to the court or any investigating body during hearings, but also in maintaining and sustaining the assignment of a company of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) tapped to take turns in securing Napoles 24/7.

Napoles has been detained at Fort Sto. Domingo, the training school of the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) in Santa Rosa City in Laguna province, since Sept. 1 last year on charges of illegal detention filed by her former employee, Benhur Luy, who also exposed the controversial PDAF scam pointing at Napoles as the alleged mastermind and implicated some members of Congress.

How ironic it is that when we have high profile cases the defendant always gets VIP treatment. Nobody seems to equate how far the money budgeted for his/her health care and security could have gone if it were used to feed the hungry or pay for the hospitalization of the poor or build huts for the homeless, etc.

And to think that fraud and plunder are no petty crimes!

Yes, I understand that Napoles could always be in the crosshairs from those who want to silence her, but is that how inept our police, guards, correctional officers, or whatever it is you call them, that she has to be alone in a bungalow detention center?

Why can’t she be located nearer and placed in dormitory-like detention center where she could have her own bunk, but share showers, toilet and sinks with other detainees?

Why make such a distasteful distinction?

You don’t only save on cost for her existence in an exclusive detention center, but what is important is being able to inculcate in her mind that criminal offense don’t make a high profile crook deserving of a special treatment.


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