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Janet Napoles surrenders to P-Noy

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, has surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III, Malacañang announced Wednesday night.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement that Napoles surrendered to the President at 9:37 p.m.

"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," Lacierda said.

Napoles surrendered the same day that President Aquino offered a P10-million reward in exchange for information that would lead to the arrest of the embattled businesswoman.

The Makati City Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of Napoles and her brother, Jojo Lim, based on the serious illegal detention case filed by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Napoles' lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said earlier that her client will surrender only after President Aquino had assured her safety.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had also said that the businesswoman may be considered as a state witness in the cases that will be filed against lawmakers involved in the pork barrel scam.

President Aquino said that the process of taking Napoles as a state witness can only push through if the businesswoman would surrender.

The President went with Roxas and Purisima to the Philippine National Police's national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, where Napoles' mug shot and fingerprints were taken.

Kapunan said that Napoles' family had asked her to whom should the businesswoman surrender to and she had recommended President Aquino.

Through Lacierda

In a press briefing at Camp Crame after Napoles' booking, Roxas told reporters that it was Lacierda who fetched the businesswoman to an undisclosed place and brought her to Malacañang.

"Kasama raw sa law firm. Nag-take chance sila kay Lacierda. May pinuntahan silang ibang lugar at mula doon ay nagpunta sila sa Malacañang," Roxas said.

He said that it was Kapunan who contacted Lacierda and brokered the surrender of her client.

Roxas said that during the brief meeting between Aquino and Napoles, there was no discussion about the possibility of turning the businesswoman into a state witness.

Meanwhile, Roxas said that Napoles' brother, Reynald Lim, has not yet sent a surrender feeler to the authorities and that he remains a fugitive.

The P10 million reward offered by the President for the arrest of Napoles will be withdrawn, he added.

He said that Napoles told the President that she decided to surrender because she fears for her life.

"Sabi lang talaga niya ay nangangamba siya sa seguridad niya at minarapat niya na mag-surrender siya sa Pangulo dahil sa Pangulo lamang siya nagtitiwala," the interior secretary said.

Meanwhile, Roxas said that Napoles will not be brought to the Senate for the blue ribbon committee hearing on the pork barrel scam.

The Senate blue ribbon committee, chaired by Sen. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, will start its probe into the pork barrel scam on Thursday, August 29.

Guingona said taht the committee's first resource person would be Commission on Audit (COA) head Grace Pulido-Tan.

A COA report showed that at least 10 non-government organizations linked to Napoles received P2 billion pork barrel of lawmakers from 2007 to 2009.