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Napoles surrenders to PNoy, now in PNP custody - Palace

(Updated 6:07 a.m., 29 August 2013) The long search for Janet Napoles, the trader at the center of a P10-billion pork barrel scam, finally ended Wednesday night with her surrender to President Benigno Aquino III, Malacañang said Wednesday night.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued a statement which said that Napoles "surrendered" to Aquino at 9:37 p.m.

“The President turned her [Napoles] over to the custody of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police Director-General Alan Purisima for processing and booking,” added the statement.

Napoles is wanted on charges of serious illegal detention arising from the alleged kidnapping of pork-barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

The Palace statement was silent on Napoles' brother, Reynald Lim, who is also wanted for the same charge. There was a P5 million reward for Reynald's capture, said Interior Department Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

A separate report by radio dzBB's Benjie Liwanag Jr. said that the Palace welcomed Napoles' surrender, which came hours after Aquino announced a P10-million bounty for information leading to her capture.

Napoles had been on the run since a Makati court issued an arrest warrant against her and her brother Reynald earlier this month.

The P10-billion scam Napoles was implicated in involved the questionable use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

The scandal fueled outrage that prompted thousands of Filipinos to attend a march against the pork barrel system in Manila last Monday.

Last Friday, President Aquino said it was time to abolish the PDAF, but said he wanted a "transparent" mechanism to replace it.

Camp Crame

Meanwhile, security at Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame was tight as Napoles, accompanied by Aquino, was brought there for booking, dzBB's Cecilia Villarosa reported.

The report added that Aquino left before midnight.

Meanwhile, Napoles's lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said in a radio interview following Napoles' surrender that her client feared for her safety.

"She asked she be placed in a secure place. Maraming nakakainteres na matahimik siya forever," Kapunan said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Kapunan also said her client would cooperate in the investigation into the pork barrel mess.

"Siya naman matagal nagsasabi mag-a-appear siya sa anumang investigation, magsasabi siya ng totoo," she said.

Roxas press briefing

Secretary Roxas said Kapunan sent Napoles' surrender feeler through Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, a former colleague of hers in a law firm.

He added that  President Aquino responded being the "executor of all laws of the country" and after noontime gave the order to fetch Napoles from a location Roxas declined to specify.

Before Napoles came before the president, she underwent a medical check-up to determine the state of her health. Roxas said the doctors learned that Napoles was taking medicines meant to calm her down.

Responding to news media questions about special treatment for Napoles, the DILG chief said Napoles was a wanted person and the president as chief executive has the responsibility to secure Napoles, bring her "back to the ambit of the law" and ensure that she will be able to testify before the court, so that the whole truth about the pork barrel scam will be known.

Roxas said Aquino volunteered to accompany him and Purisima in bringing Napoles to Camp Crame.  — DVM/ELR, GMA News