By Perfecto Raymundo
MANILA, 16Sept2013 (PNA) – The Dept. of Justice on Monday filed before the Office of the Ombudsman plunder and malversation charges against businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, three senators and 34 others in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Napoles, the owner of JLN Group of Companies, is the alleged “brains” behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam and the P900-million Malampaya fund scam.
Aside from Napoles, also charged with plunder were Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., former Reps. Rosalinda Lanete and Edgar Valdez.
Others charged were five heads of government-owned and controlled corporations, six officials of Napoles’ non-governmental organizations, five employees of NABCOR, and two employees of Technology and Resource Center, among others, as co-conspirators.
The one million-page documents were presented to the media even before they were brought to the Ombudsman.
The pieces of evidence included certifications from the implementing agencies, the Commission on Audit report covering the period 2007 to 2009, and Special Allotment Release Order from the Dept. of Budget and Management, among others.
Estrada allegedly allotted funds to a bogus NGO of Napoles, the Social Development Program for Farmers and National Agri Business Corporation (NABCOR).
Enrile allegedly habitually used the fake NGOs of Napoles, Agri-economic program for Farmers Foundation, Inc.; Agrikultura para sa Magbubukid; Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation; and Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation, Inc.
Revilla allegedly habitually used Napoles’ fake NGOs, Agrikultura para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Inc.; Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc.; Agri economic Program for Farmers Foundation; Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation; National Agribusiness Corporation; Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc.; and Agrikultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Inc.; Philippine Social Dev’t Foundation, Inc.; and Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc.
Among others, also charged were former Congressmen Rodolfo Plaza, Samuel Dangwa; chief of staff of Dangwa, Erwin Dangwa; who allegedly amassed or accumulated more than P50 million each, the threshold amount for plunder, through a series of “overt acts” in a period of time, from the lawmakers’ priority development assistance fund through kickbacks.
Other respondents were also charged with malversation and direct bribery, and corruption of officials through their supposed commissions, kickbacks or rebates which are less than P50 million each although their PDAF were also designed to misuse public funds.
This is part of the “first batch”, who were named by the whistle blowers themselves as they have “personal knowledge” about the Napoles’ NGOs.
The National Bureau of Investigation has recommended for a preliminary investigation of the complaints filed before the Ombudsman.
For its part, the Ombudsman will first evaluate the voluminous documentary evidence from the whistle blowers, the implementing agencies and the NGOs filed by the NBI, if it would warrant the preliminary investigation.
The DOJ is also banking on the “coercive power” of the Ombudsman to compel the Anti-Money Laundering Council as regards the “freeze order” against the 430 bank accounts of the Napoles family and her other accomplices. (PNA)