U.S. Court indicts Janet Napoles, 5 kin for money laundering, conspiracy

Marje Pelayo   •   August 1, 2018   •   4542

 

FILE PHOTO: Janet Lim Napoles

 

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday (July 31) indicted Janet Napoles and five members of her family for allegedly diverting Philippine government funds obtained through bribery and fraudulent scheme.

Prosecutors from US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said Napoles transferred around $20 million of the money she got from the pork barrel scam to Southern California bank accounts and used them to purchase assets in the U.S., including property and luxury vehicles.

The others named in the indictment are Napoles’ children Jo, James, and Jeane; her brother Reynald Lim and his wife Ana Marie. The court accused them for “quietly liquidating the assets in the United States.”

Officials are working for the extradition of the defendants from the Philippines to the U.S.

A civil forfeiture case is also pending before a U.S. Court involving approximately $12.5 million in Southern California real estate.

The property has already been seized by the US government and is preparing to work with Philippine officials in order to return the stolen funds back to the Philippine government.

Janet is named the “pork barrel scam queen” for irregularities in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations of prominent lawmakers including former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada.

The funds were allegedly transferred into non-existent projects run by bogus NGOs associated with Napoles. – UNTV News & Rescue

Sandiganbayan sides with Enrile on pork barrel case

Maris Federez   •   April 30, 2019

The Sandiganbayan has ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to produce the evidence against former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on the P172.8 million plunder case against him.

This is in response to the petition filed by the camp of former lawmaker before the Sandiganbayan Third Division to order the Ombudsman “to produce and permit the copying or photographing of any and all documents” as specified in the bill of particulars.

They argued that they need time “to study and consider the materials before trial is held.”

In its 6-page resolution issued on April 24, the graft court granted Enrile’s motion.

The Sandiganbayan said, “Enrile has absolute control on how to go about his defense. If in his mind, he needed to inspect or copy pieces of evidence [not privileged] which are material for him to make an intelligent defense, then he is allowed by the court to ask for the inspection or production of these documents.”

The court cited Section 10, Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which allows the former Senate president to avail this remedy, considering the prosecution made use of government resources to prepare its case.

Therefore, on the argument that the request is equivalent to premature presentation of evidence, the court said “Ombudsman prosecutors were wrong to call Enrile’s motion premature.

The Sandiganbayan, however, said the scope of the evidence that Enrile may access is only limited to documents related to the itemized charges against him.

Enrile is accused of pocketing some P172.8 million of his pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) by channeling the money to the fake nongovernment organizations of convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles.

He was initially detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City but was later released by the court on humanitarian grounds considering that he is already 95 years old.

Associate Justice Ronald Moreno wrote the resolution, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.  –Maris Federez

Sandiganbayan acquits Bong Revilla; convicts Janet Napoles over pork barrel scam

Marje Pelayo   •   December 7, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Former Senator Ramon ” Bong” Revilla Jr.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – After four and a half years in jail, former Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. on Friday (December 7) walked free after the Sandiganbayan acquitted him of plunder in line with the P10-B ‘pork barrel’ scam.

Meanwhile, the anti-graft court’s Special Division convicted alleged ‘pork barrel’ queen and mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Revilla’s former aide Richard Cambe.

Revilla’s case was considered the first among the cases on the alleged misuse of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Along with his former colleagues former Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, Revilla was accused of amassing P224-M worth of kickbacks from Napoles during his time as a senator in exchange for funneling millions from his ‘pork barrel’ to Napoles’ ‘bogus’ non-governmental organizations (NGO).

Among those who voted for his acquittal were Associate Justices Geraldine Faith Econg; Edgardo Caldona; Georgina Dumpit-Hidalgo.

Meanwhile, Associate Justices Efren De La Cruz and Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta voted for conviction.

In July 2016, Enrile was granted bail due to his health condition, being 92 years old then . Estrada was granted bail in September 2017 because the court said: “There is no strong evidence to show that he is a main plunderer” though the evidence shows some “glaring irregularities” in the disbursement of his PDAF.

Revilla was the first to be cleared of plunder among the three former senators. However, he is not yet cleared of graft charges. After the promulgation, he proceeded to post bail of P480,000 for 16 counts of graft pending before the Sandiganbayan.

Revilla thanked all his supporters because finally “the truth has come out.” He said he will proceed to a church and pay respect to his mother’s grave before he visits his father, Ramon Revilla Sr.

Revilla is running for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.

Marje Pelayo |UNTV News & Rescue

Malacañang wants allegation of Janet Lim Napoles vs. Sen. Drilon investigated

admin   •   January 24, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang regards the new revelation of alleged ‘pork barrel scam queen’ Janet Lim Napoles relevant.

This is in connection with her alleged donation of campaign funds to Senator Franklin Drilon amounting to P5-million for Drilon’s bid in the 2010 elections.

Malacañang wants the issue investigated by the  Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“This is an information which for the first time was revealed by Janet Napoles and I think the Constitution in providing for accountability of public officers is the legal basis for relevant government agencies to conduct an investigation,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Malacañang also said that Napoles should not be prevented from speaking since she may have physical evidence to back up her claims.

Chief presidential legal counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo said Napoles should submit her sworn statement regarding her allegation.

Malacañang denied that the investigations of the government on PDAF scam are limited to the opposition of the government.

Roque said that though DOJ can conduct its investigations and submit its findings, it is the Office of the Ombudsman who will do the preliminary investigations to file appropriate charges.

“Options are limited but certainly, I’m sure DOJ will be true to its mandate and will proceed with case build up by investigating this. We want the whole truth and nothing but the truth to come up with this PDAF scam,” said the presidential spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Malacañang challenged former Department of Budget (DBM) Undersecretary Mario Relampagos to return to the country and reveal what he knows on the pork barrel issue.

Relampagos who has traveled to the United States of America was the alleged contact person of Napoles in DBM.

Senator Drilon was asked by media on the issue but refused for now to answer the allegations against him. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

 

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