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Napoles surrenders to Aquino

Alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam mastermind and fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino Wednesday evening, according to Malacañang. “At 9:37 p.m on August 28, Janet Napoles surrendered to President Aquino. Napoles is wanted on charges of serious illegal detention arising from the alleged kidnapping of Benhur Luy,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement. “The President turned her over to the custody of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police Director-General Alan Purisima for processing and booking,” said Lacierda. During a press briefing shortly after midnight, Roxas said it was Napoles's counsel, lawyer Lorna Kapunan, who first contacted Lacierda to discuss her client's surrender. Lacierda then went to an undisclosed place to meet Kapunan and Napoles, before proceeding to Malacañang. Kapunan and Lacierda were colleagues in a law firm, according to Roxas. Roxas said Napoles fears for her life, but did not mention details of the threats. Roxas said there was no notable changes in Napoles's appearance, compared to her pictures that appeared in newspapers. According to Roxas, Napoles was not in handcuffs as she surrendered voluntarily, adding that Napoles will spend the night in a holding room at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, and not in the custodial center. Roxas said Janet's brother and co-accused Reynald Lim remains at large. On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government would not rule out tapping Napoles as a state witness to go after bigger fish such as lawmakers who channeled public funds to her ghost projects. De Lima said the Justice Department would decide on the question only after Napoles surrenders and faces the charges against her. P10-million bounty withdrawn Roxas also said that the P10-million bounty for information leading to the arrest of Napoles, as offered by President Aquino III on Wednesday, will be withdrawn. The amount is the highest the government has offered so far for a fugitive who is not considered a terrorist. The bounty offered for Napoles’ capture is higher than the previous rewards offered to other high-profile fugitives such as communist leaders Benito Tiamson and Jorge Madlos (P5.6 million each) and former military official Jovito Palparan, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother Ruben, and housing developer Delfin Lee at P2 million each. Joyce Pangco Panares, Ferdinand Fabella and Eric B. Apolonio
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