Sunday, August 18, 2013

Money trail of fugitive Napoles - Inquirer.net

Analysis By Amando Doronila
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles, the object of the biggest manhunt in recent Philippine criminal history, has left a money trail of diversion of public funds to nongovernment organizations (NGOs) of appalling proportions.

She has eluded a dragnet deployed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the effort to arrest her on a charge of serious illegal detention of a key witness in the investigation of the siphoning of P10 billion of congressional pork barrel to a syndicate of 20 NGOs headed by Napoles, the JLN group of companies, that allegedly found its way into her bank accounts after paying kickbacks to five senators and 23 congressmen in exchange for access to their pork barrel largesse.

The investigation spearheaded by the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation to determine the criminal responsibility of JLN in this diversion appears to have turned into a wild goose chase with the disappearance of Napoles, who had been tipped of the arrest before the arrival of NBI agents out to serve the warrants of arrest at 28 of her addresses. The agents found Napoles' lawyers waiting for them in one of her residences.

The hunt for Napoles in all the corners of Planet Earth, with the aid of canceling her passport, has been reduced to a pointless, futile and much more so laughable and absurd exercise, when the government is refocusing its effort on its serious illegal detention charge against the businesswoman for keeping in her safe house Benhur Luy, her former employee who has revealed in his affidavits to the NBI JLN operations in gaining access to the pork barrel, rather than making a case of misuse or abuse of public funds.

What purpose does it serve the government if Napoles had been arrested? What more information can government extract from Napoles in captivity to make a criminal case against her than the affidavits of six whistle-blowers, all her former employees with axes to grind, shedding light on her companies' operations?


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