Manila, Philippines -- ''Get Napoles out of Sto. Domingo!''
This demand has echoed in communities surrounding Fort Sto. Domingo as people claimed that the now detention center for suspects involved in high profile cases has become a source of humiliation for Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez aired the sentiments of his constituents in a privilege speech delivered yesterday, saying that government should now stop converting the historical landmark into a detention area for crime suspects, including alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Cuartel de Sto. Domingo
Fernandez said Fort Sto. Domingo - built by Spaniards in 1877 and used to be known in the Spanish period as Cuartel de Sto. Domingo - served as a safe haven for women from Cabuyao and Calamba to protect them from being abused by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese occupation.
He added that the fort was also transformed into a ''center for commerce'' of Sta. Rosa during the Japanese occupation.
Aside from treasuring its historical importance to Sta. Rosa, Fernandez said townfolk do not want it to be a source of embarrassment as the fort has served as a detention quarter for high-profile crime suspects.
''We had the former President and now Mayor of Manila Joseph Estrada, and his son Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Gringo Honasan as previous tenants. There was also Nur Misuari, and now we have Janet Lim Napoles,'' said Fernandez.
''The people of Sta. Rosa harbor very strong emotional attachment to the Cuartel de Sto. Domingo because being indigenous people of Sta. Rosa, they are third and fourth generation of those who fought and were killed in the three battles,'' explained Fernandez.
No To Royal Treatment
Meanwhile, Dean Amado Valdez of the University of the East College of Law government should stop treating Napoles as a ''royalty'' because there is apparently no need for her in further fortifying the cases against state personalities involved in the case.
''They (Department of Justice) must not wait another two months more to file the charges against Napoles and lawmakers who have been implicated in the scam. The Commission on Audit has corroborated the evidence already in their hands,'' Valdez told reporters at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel Forum.
Food Tasters For Janet
Amid talks and claims of ''clear and present'' danger to her life, Napoles got another security privilege befitting a royalty.
Yesterday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned two food tasters to Napoles in a continuing maximum security adjustment to seal her off from those whom she claims wanted her dead.
The designation of food tasters is the latest of the many privileges that the PNP has given its high profile detainee - from a presidential escort to Camp Crame after her surrender to President Aquino, the coterie of Palace officials led by DILG Sec. Mar Roxas who motored to Makati to prepare a safe, air-conditioned room as detention cell with refrigerator to cool her medicines, to a CCTV installed at her bungalow-type detention facility at Fort Sto. Domingo.
The holding area in Malacañang where Napoles and her lawyer Lorna Kapunan were brought while waiting for President Aquino on the night she surrendered is the same place where heads of state wait before meeting with Aquino.
Director Carmelo Valmoria, director of the Special Action Force (SAF) said the latest move is to foil any plan by persons to silence her through poisoning.