Janet Napoles as state witness?

(UPDATE) Does Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged architect of the controversial P10-billion "pork barrel" scam, deserve to become a state witness?

This question surfaced after Napoles surrendered to no less than President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III Wednesday night.

Related story: Janet fears for her life, surrenders to PNoy

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas however said that as of now, there had been no talk of Napoles becoming a state witness.

"There was no discussion about [being a] state witness," said Roxas, although he earlier tagged Napoles in the same ambush interview at Camp Crame as "possible witness."

"Sabi lang nila [Napoles] talaga ay nangangamba siya sa buhay niya at seguridad niya. Sa pangulo siya nagtitiwala. Ginampanan naman ng pangulo and kaniyang trabaho bilang executor of the land. Lahat ito ay ayon sa reglamento ng korte," said Roxas.

Related story: What awaits Napoles if proven guilty of serious illegal detention?

Napoles spent the night in an air-conditioned room in Camp Crame. Upon her surrender, she was not handcuffed and even had a medical check-up. Napoles also underwent usual procedures after an arrest, such as giving fingerprint marks.

Roxas said the arrest warrant for Napoles for serious illegal detention will be returned to the court.

"Bukas magsisimula yung proseso, ireturn yung warrant sa korte dahil voluntary ang surrender. Magsisimulang muli ang legal processess na dapat mangyari," said Roxas.

The P10-million bounty earlier set by Malacanang has also been rescinded as Napoles already voluntarily surrendered.   

Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay thinks it is "premature" to discuss whether Napoles can be a state witness.

"As for the possibility that Mrs. Napoles be considered a state witness, as a lawyer, I would say it's too early to tell. There are requirements before a suspect is made a state witness, among these being that the evidence against the said suspect must be weak," said Binay.

"And that has yet to be established," he added.

Binay also said that while "it's good that she surrendered," he hopes Napoles would bare all the information available.

"I just hope she will tell the truth and bare everything she knows so that those involved in the scam would be brought to justice and be made accountable for their transgressions to the Filipino people, regardless of their political affiliations," said Binay. 

Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras talked with fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, husband Jimmy and lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan at the President’s Hall Receiving Area of the Malacañan ... more 

Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras talked with fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, husband Jimmy and lawyer Atty. Lorna Kapunan at the President’s Hall Receiving Area of the Malacañan Palace to yield herself to President Benigno S. Aquino III Wednesday night (August 28, 2013). The surrender feeler was sent by Atty. Kapunan to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hours after President Aquino announced a P10-million reward to anyone who can give information for the immediate arrest of the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. (Photo by: Rodolfo Manabat/MPB/NPPA Images) less 
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Thu, Aug 29, 2013 12:00 PM PHT

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