Janet Lim-Napoles, the woman at the center of the multibillion-peso pork barrel scandal that has shaken government, wants people she can control, lawyer Lorna Kapunan said a day after quitting as her counsel.
Kapunan said she has withdrawn as Napoles’ lawyer in all the cases that the businesswoman is facing. These include the serious illegal detention case filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy, as well as the pending plunder charges Napoles and 37 others are facing at the Ombudsman.
Kapunan said her decision is final.
“For our part, it is time for us to move on,” she told ABS-CBN News. “She cannot be served well if her lawyers disagree amongst themselves.”
“She is best served in her mind by people she can control… we are not that kind,” she added.
Kapunan said Napoles chose to follow the strategy porposed by Atty. Freddie Villamor for the serious illegal detention case.
Kapunan wanted the defense to present evidence — a move Villamor is not in favor of.
Villamor used to be the lawyer of Napoles’ child and of JLN Corp.
Villamor, however, distanced himself from Kapunan’s move to quit as Napoles’ lawyer.
“I didn’t know Kapunan was withdrawing from the case. Her withdrawal is between Kapunan and our client Napoles,” he told ANC Prime Time Thursday night.
He believes it will not affect Napoles’ serious illegal detention case. “Kapunan’s withdrawal has nothing to do with the merits of the (serious illegal detention) case so it will not have any effect.”
“(Kapunan’s withdrawal) is already moot and academic. We’re done with our petition for bail and we’re just waiting for the resolution,” he said.
Villamor was also nonchalant about the plunder charge Napoles is facing at the Ombudsman.
“I don’t know how Kapunan’s withdrawal will affect other cases because I don’t know if Napoles wanted to hire her for the other cases,” he said.
Kapunan said Napoles is in a rush to post bail because the businesswoman wants to visit her mother’s grave on All Saints’ Day.
“Sa legal profession, you don’t abandon a client in this situation,” Kapunan said, as she explained her withdrawal as Napoles’ lawyer.
She said Napoles wanted her to quit. “Let me make it clear, this is upon her request.”
With Kapunan’s resignation set to be formalized, it’s unlikely she will accompany Napoles to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on November 7.
“If she requests, but we have discussed this as a law firm,” Kapunan added. “Napoles knows when we accepted her case, we have to be lead counsel here.”
On Wednesday, Kapunan visited the detained Napoles at Fort Santo Domingo in Laguna to seek her written conforme that will be submitted to the court next week. – with ANC / Karen Davila, ABS-CBN News