Published March 6, 2017 11:02am
Updated March 6, 2017 12:03pm
By ERWIN COLCOL, GMA News
Businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles on Monday claimed detained Senator Leila De Lima tried to extort money from her to stop the reopening of the serious illegal detention case filed against her.
"Wala naman po talagang illegal detention na nangyari. Ito po ay extortion lamang. Dismissed na po ang kasong ito sa DOJ (Department of Justice) noon pa," Napoles told reporters in an ambush interview at the Sandiganbayan.
Asked about who tried to extort money from her, she said: "Si [former Justice] Secretary Leila De Lima."
De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center over drug-related charges.
In the interview, Napoles did not mention the amount of money De Lima allegedly tried to extort from her.
She, however, revealed that it was not just De Lima who planned to extort money from her.
"Isa siya sa mga nag-extort," Napoles said.
The office of Sen. De Lima said they will issue a statement later in the day.
In April 2015, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 sentenced Napoles to reclusion perpetua, or 20 years and one day up to 40 years in jail, after she was found guilty of serious illegal detention against her second cousin, Benhur Luy
Luy, who was rescued in March 2013, was allegedly detained after Napoles found out that he secured a P5.5-million loan using her name and without her authorization. Napoles has also accused Luy of stealing P300,000 that he was supposed to deposit to her account.
In June 2013, the DOJ decided to dismiss the illegal detention charges against Napoles, saying the it was misled in ordering the "rescue" of Luy.
But the National Bureau of Investigation moved for the reversal of the decision, resulting in Napoles' arrest.
The Office of the Solicitor General has moved before the Court of Appeals to reverse Napoles' conviction in the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy.
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his support for the SolGen's move.
"The circumstances would show it. He was not restrained at all. If you follow the story of the Solicitor General, he is right. He could go in and out. Ilan beses nagbisita media sa kanya hindi naman siya [pumiyok] para sa akin talaga," Duterte told reporters in ambush interview in Malacañang on February 27. — RSJ, GMA News