She’s on the lamb. The net is closing.
Well not fast enough. Our wily Janet still got little ears firmly attached to the walls around the corridor of power, thus she was able to abscond from the rather incongrouous and inept NBI.
Runaway Janet is only making it clear that she is guilty of all charges; otherwise she would have stayed and fought her detractors!!!
Come on Janet, it does not have to be this way. Come out from your hiding and spill! That is the only way!
NBI’s failure to nab Napoles blamed on tipsters
The long arm of the law is no match for loose lips, it appears, after law enforcement agencies failed to serve a warrant of arrest on controversial Janet Lim Napoles who is suspected of spiriting off billions of pesos in legislators’ discretionary funds.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima insists Napoles was given advance information on her impending arrest even as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is tracking down 30 motor vehicles which could have been used by the embattled businesswoman.
The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) earlier ordered the arrest of Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim for their alleged part in Benhur Luy’s illegal detention.
“Someone tipped (them) because her (Napoles) lawyers were there first, waiting at the RTC. That’s the report now. That’s the reason last night, as soon as the NBI team was able to get hold of the copies of the warrant of arrest, they immediately proceeded to the known addresses of the Napoleses…but they were all negative,” she told reporters on Thursday, Aug. 15.
“It’s not surprising because the fact that she was not seen after the warrant of arrest was issued, it means she got advance info. Anyway isn’t she well-connected? Didn’t she brag she controls the government?” De Lima said.
Twelve teams are conducting the manhunt along with regional and field offices .
“The NBI investigation with or without her participation continues. If she continues to be in hiding and continues to be a fugitive then she is deemed to have waived her right to air her side. This (pork barrel probe) is just on investigation level, this is not yet a preliminary investigation,” she said.
But even as the claimed whistleblower, Ben Hur Luy has been making statements on Napoles’ alleged scam, the Manila prosecutor’s office has set a probe on perjury raps vs. whistleblowers on P10-B pork barrel scam.
It set the preliminary investigation into the perjury case filed by the camp of Napoles, the alleged “brains” behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, against some of the whistle blowers in the scam.
Those charged were Benhur Luy, his parents Arturo and Gertrudes, and his brother Arthur, as well as another whistle blower, Merlina Sunas, a former employee of the JLN Corp.
The hearing was set on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, 2013.
Assistant City Prosecutor Philger Noel Inovejas was assigned to handle the case.
The MPO issued the subpoena on Thursday ordering the camp of Napoles and the respondents to appear during the hearing on the said dates.
Napoles used as basis in filing the complaint against the respondents their sworn statement or affidavit submitted before the Department of Justice stating that Benhur remained in her custody against his own will.
De Lima called out earlier to Napoles to surrender and for her to prove her innocence in the court, even as the Justice Secretary had already stated that the offense of the alleged illegal detention of Luy was non-bailable, which means Napoles will be detained, not granted bail and rot in jail for years, since it takes the courts too long to resolve a case.
Lorna Kapunan, counsel of Napoles, slammed, in a radio and TV interview the arrest order against her client, saying this was accompanied by “undue haste” in the filing of a case in court and the issuance of an arrest order against her for charges of serious illegal detention.
GMA news website said the Napoles camp will file today a petition for certiorari against the arrest warrant issued on Wednesday by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 against Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.
Kapunan was quoted as wondering why Judge Elmo Alameda issued the arrest warrant despite two pending motions that their camp had filed in connection with charges filed in court.
Kapunan said that prior to the release of the warrants, their camp had issued a motion for the determination of probable cause and an urgent motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of an arrest warrant.
The lawyer said instead of setting a date to hear the two motions, the judge issued the arrest warrants.
Kapunan pointed out that her concern is the speed with which this was handled becausse the complaint was just filed yet immediately a special raffle was held and the judge immediately issued the warrant of arrest, after which, De Lima immediately announced the arrrest warrant orders to media,” she said.
Kapunan also denied De Lima’s earlier statement that Napoles’ lawyers had expected the arrest warrant and had staked out the Makati court to immediately get a copy of the warrant.
Kapunan also pointed out that the reversal of the case at the DoJ level was questionable.
A DoJ prosecutor had earlier junked the charges for lack of probable cause. Separate motions for reconsideration filed by the NBI and Benhur Luy however were eventually granted.
“There was no additional evidence, no other hearings or no disturbance of findings and facts. There was haste in the filing. There is really undue haste to get a reversal and get her in jail,” the report quoted Kapunan.
In a related development, the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday echoed calls for an independent probe on the P10 billion pork barrel scam insisting that “an independent probe should extend to Janet Lim-Napoles’ protector in government.”
“As the main victims of the pork barrel scam, the Filipino peasantry adds its voice in the growing clamor for an independent probe on the P10-billion pork barrel scam,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores noting that “Napoles and her cohorts in government targeted public funds intended for farmers and agriculture.”
Other groups and individuals that called for an independent probe are the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), San Beda College Graduate School, the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Flores said that “given the magnitude of the pork barrel scam, we believe that Napoles enjoys the protection of top government officials.”
“An independent probe should dig deeper to pin down Napoles and unmask ‘The Real McCoy’, the mastermind and protector that fuels her audacity to raid government coffers,” he said.
“The Real McCoy” is a 1993 crime film starred by Kim Bassinger who plays Karen McCoy, a bank robber of her time before being incarcerated.
The KMP added that an independent body should be composed of individuals with known probity and integrity and not by Malacañang-appointees who will surely bend over to Palace whip.
“Farmer-victims whose names were used by Napoles and her co-plunderers will not hesitate to testify before a credible independent body. On the contrary, they will surely think twice if the probers cannot be trusted,” Flores said. “An independent probe body should fear nothing even when evidences lead to Malacañang.”
Recent reports said that P900 million Malampaya funds were “downloaded” in cahoots with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials. The Department of Agriculture also admitted that P83.2 million was allotted to Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation (KMFI), whose president is John Raymond de Asis, the driver-bodyguard of Napoles.
In addition, reports said, Napoles also got hold of letters requesting P5 million requested by each of the 44 mayors from the agriculture department, particularly out of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (Acef).
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. yesterday condemned what he claimed is another attempt attempt to malign him over his personal ties with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Revilla raised a howl over reports establishing the links of one of his sons, Bryan, with Napoles’ son, James Christopher.
“I think that this malicious story is another attempt by some sectors to malign us. If they want to destroy me, then do it to me—not my son,” he said.
“I was introduced once or twice to Ms. Napoles, and have seen her occasionally in certain social gatherings. Aside from the customary hi’s and hello’s, we had no other interaction with each other,” he said.
“My son Bryan on the other hand, and one of her children were schoolmates in High School. I understand that they, with other friends, went into a business of importing and selling rubber shoes together. This is the PB & J Corp.
“It is unfortunate that a legal undertaking between associates is being tainted with malice. Their business endeavor is legal and legitimate,” he added.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is also among the seven upper chamber members whose pork barrel purportedly was misused by Napoles, said the businesswoman should yield before the authorities.
“There is no choice. The law is the law and we have to abide by the rule of law. Nobody is above the law,” he said.
If at all some of his PDAF ended up in alleged bogus companies of Napoles, Estrada said he had nothing to do with it.
“I might have signed endorsements but I do not know if those particular endorsements belong to her or bogus non-government organizations. I wouldn’t have known,” he said.
“It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not. It is within the functions and the powers of the DA to determine if an NGO is bogus or not.” Even if we endorse a certain NGO, we will have no idea whether it is bogus or not. It is done in good faith. “
“My office is not an implementing agency. The implementing agency here is the Department of Agriculture. We do not implement.We are just here to determine the projects. I do not know anyone from the DA. All I know is the Secretary of Agriculture.
Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, on the other hand, remains unfazed by these developments.
“If there’s evidence against her, why not?” he commented on the matter of arrest order against Napoles.
Some of Enrile’s PDAF were alleged to have been tapped by bogus NGOs, reports said.
The upper chamber leader said he’s not worried at all over reports that the DoJ is set to file charges against some lawmakers embroiled the pork barrel scam, saying this will allow the government to investigate further the issue.
“I don’t know what they have (against us). It’s better that we will be confronted with the evidence,” Enrile said, adding that he’s willing to face responsibility and assume whatever penalties, if it will be proven that he committed any wrongdoing.
By Benjamin B Pulta, Charlie V. Manalo, Angie M. Rosales