Published: July 31, 2013
Janet Napoles, BUSINESSWOMAN Janet Napoles, who was accused of masterminding a multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam, maintained her innocence on Friday as she agreed to open her bank accounts to prove that she never illegally benefited from public funds.
“Yes but with the appropriate court order,” said lawyer Lorna Kapunan, who was with Napoles and other members of the legal team in a press conference.
Napoles, president of trading firm JLN Corp., was allegedly behind the 20 “bogus” non-profit organizations (NGOs), which were recipients of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of some lawmakers and Malampaya oil funds over the past 10 years.
The lawmakers who allegedly channeled their pork barrel funds to Napoles’ NGOs received huge kickbacks. Napoles had already denied the accusation as well as senators and congressmen who were dragged into the controversy.
“My wealth does not come from public funds,” Napoles said.
She asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who broached the idea of tapping the Anti Money and Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into Napoles’ bank accounts, to be fair in probing the alleged P10-billion scam.
Kapunan said the composition of the NBI investigating team must be overhauled by removing agents who nabbed Napoles’ brother without any warrant of arrest on March 22 for kidnapping supposed whistleblower Benhur Luy.
The agents are Rodante Berou, Redendor Valdez, Adrian Feudo, Winmar Louie de Ramos, Menandro Cariaga, Georgina Brahim, Dario Dones Jr., Marlon Baltazar and Rolando Argabioso, head of the NBI Special Task Force.
Napoles and her brother were later cleared by the Department of Justice of serious illegal detention charges filed by Luy, who is now wanted for a qualified theft case for supposedly pocketing P300,000 that should have been deposited to Napoles’ bank account.
“If they are serious in fulfilling the mandate given by Secretary de Lima, why they did not confront Mrs. Napoles and ask her about it (pork barrel scam)? Why does there seem to be a one-sided investigation without due process?” said Kapunan, asking de Lima to hear Napoles’ side.
Kapunan also presented a “fact sheet” stating that Napoles was never an incorporator, trustee, and officer of the foundations allegedly involved in the controversy based on the records of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).