- ‘Pork barrel queen’ Napoles has accused De Lima of extortion
- Napoles said De Lima is one of those who demanded money from her in exchange for dropping the investigation
- However, she did not say how much money was involved in the alleged extortion attempt
MANILA, Philippines – Alleged ‘pork barrel scam’ mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles has accused Senator Leila De Lima of trying to extort money from her over the illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
In an interview with reporters at the pre-trial hearing of the plunder case at the Sandiganbayan on Monday, March 6, Napoles said some people, including De Lima, have demanded money in exchange for dropping the investigation against her.
“Wala naman po talagang illegal detention na nangyari. Ito po ay extortion lamang. Dismissed na po ang kasong ito sa DOJ,” said Napoles.
[The truth is no illegal detention happened. This is merely extortion.The case had been dismissed at the DOJ.]
When asked to reveal the names of those who tried to extort money from her, Napoles said: “Isa po si Secretary Leila De Lima”. [One of them is Secretary Leila De Lima.]
Napoles, however, did not say how much money was demanded and who were the other people involved.
De Lima was the Justice secretary when the DOJ overturned its June 2013 decision dismissing the illegal detention case against Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a motion for reconsideration.
The DOJ then filed an illegal detention case against the accused before the Makati Regional Trial Court, which issued the arrest warrant against Napoles in August 2013.
The Makati court sentenced Napoles to life imprisonment over the same case and the alleged ‘pork barrel queen’ has since been detained at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City.