News Flash

September 01, 2015, Tuesday
  • Local gov’t offers P 50K reward for the arrest of the killers of a 10-year-old girl in Tanay, Rizal. 30 minutes ago |
  • Thousands of fishermen expected to troop to Luneta on Wednesday to protest the amended Fisheries Code. 34 minutes ago |
  • Ombudsman to file a motion for reconsideration at SC after it granted Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s petition to post bail. about 1 hour ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she’ll decide in 1 month if a case may be filed vs. Abad & other gov’t ofcls. on DAP disbursements. about 1 hour ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she has started a probe on the role of Pres. Aquino, DBM Sec. Abad & other gov’t officials on DAP disbursements. about 1 hour ago |
  • Weather forecasters say about two to four storms will hit PH in September. about 1 hour ago |
  • Maynilad & Manila Water warn of water supply interruptions in some areas in NCR with the onset of El Nino. about 1 hour ago |
  • Some fishermen complain the Amended Fisheries Code contains too many restrictions. about 1 hour ago |
  • Comelec reminds OFWs that the deadline for their registration is on October 12. about 1 hour ago |
  • Comelec lengthens voter registration days from Monday to Saturday and on holidays. about 1 hour ago |
  • 12-year-old girl dies in fire that hit their home in Sitio Masikap, Quezon. about 1 hour ago |
  • Search on for mountaineer swept away by strong waves while crossing a creek in San Jose, Tarlac. about 1 hour ago |
  • Landslide hits Villaviciosa town in Abra forcing at least 166 families to flee their homes. about 1 hour ago |
  • Expelled INC Min. Isaias Samson Jr. asks gov’t what deal it struck with INC that supposedly ended its 5-day rally. about 1 hour ago |
  • Justice Sec. Leila de Lima back at work at DOJ and says she has no plans of resigning. about 1 hour ago |
  • CBCP calls on Catholics not to support same-sex marriage. 17 hours ago |
  • 5 mountaineers drown in Nagsasa Creek in San Jose, Tarlac on Monday afternoon. 17 hours ago |
  • Phivolcs records 5 tremors in areas in Southern Mindanao. 17 hours ago |
  • Petron to implement a P 2.25/kilo rollback on the price of LPG on Tuesday. 17 hours ago |
  • Sandiganbayan issues hold departure orders vs. Fmr. Agusan Del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza & 7 others linked to pork barrel scam. 17 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp claims De Lima is prioritizing political ambition over the resolution of PDAF and SAF 44 cases. 17 hours ago |
  • Binay’s camp calls on Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to resign. 18 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas says gov’t & INC leaders have been in contact with one another since the beginning of the rally at DOJ. 18 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says INC’s protest peacefully ended through goodwill and convergence of efforts. 18 hours ago |
  • Deputy Pres’l Spokesperson Abigail Valte says talks between gov’t & INC centered on clarification of issues & concerns. 18 hours ago |
  • Palace says there has been no deal made between gov’t and Iglesia ni Cristo. 18 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino led the National Heroes’ Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. 22 hours ago |
  • Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda thanks the INC for ending its 5-day protest rally. 23 hours ago |
  • 9 killed in a collision between a multicab & a truck before dawn Monday in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. 23 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino calls on people to unite & set aside personal interests during his message on National Heroes’ Day. 23 hours ago |
  • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares says the right of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. to file a complaint must be respected. 23 hours ago |
  • CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna says DOJ must continue hearing the complaint of expelled INC Minister Isaias Samson Jr. 23 hours ago |
  • Fire kills 6 stay-in workers in a bakery in Taal, Batangas. 23 hours ago |
  • Clean-up of area around EDSA-Shaw Boulevard ongoing following 5 days of INC’s protest. 23 hours ago |
  • Traffic flow now moving along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. 23 hours ago |
  • Some INC members still trooped to DOJ early Monday morning & left only after INC’s announcement that the protest was over. 23 hours ago |
  • Commuters who were at EDSA-Mandaluyong area about 6 am Monday experienced monstrous traffic jam due to INC rally. 23 hours ago |
  • INC members rejoiced upon hearing their leaders’ announcement at about 8 am Monday that they are ending the protest. 23 hours ago |
  • LRTA says the remaining value stored in the magnetic cards can be transferred to beep cards. 23 hours ago |
  • LRT-2 removes from all its stations the gates for magnetic cards as it paves the way for beep cards. 23 hours ago |
  • Registration for 2016 polls continues in selected malls in the provinces. 23 hours ago |

Napoles, kin still awash with dollars — witness

By Rey E. Requejo | Sep. 05, 2013 at 12:02am
Some 400 bank accounts belonging to Janet Lim Napoles have been frozen, but the alleged mastermind behind the P10 billion pork barrel scam and her family still have access to offshore accounts that Philippine regulators have not touched, a source said Wednesday.

The source, an insider who is privy to the ongoing investigation into the pork barrel scandal, said whistleblowers under the protection of the National Bureau of Investigation said some of the accounts were in the United States, such as the one belonging to Napoles’ daughter Jo Christine at the Wells Fargo Bank in Irvine, California.

The whistleblowers also produced documents showing that the Napoles family had money stashed away in other US banks, and that her brother, Reynald Lim, who is still in hiding, has an account at the Bank of America in San Diego, California.

Western Investment Corp., a company said to be owned by he Napoles family, also has an account at the Wells Fargo in Orange County.

One of the whistleblowers has submitted a sworn statement detailing how Napoles allegedly amassed her wealth by channeling the pork barrel of lawmakers to bogus non-government organizations. These funds ended up in those offshore accounts, the whistleblower said.

The witness, the insider added, claimed that the money in those accounts was used by the Napoleses to buy a hotel in California worth $7 million and a $2-million unit at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles.

Lawyers of the whistleblowers said the government should act now to have the foreign bank accounts frozen.

Another whistleblower, who was tapped by Napoles as president of one of the bogus NGOs, reportedly claimed that the camp of the businesswoman had created new accounts in anticipation that their assets here would be frozen.

The whistleblowers, Benhur Luy and Merlina Sunas appeared before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office Wednesday to submt their response to libel charges filed against them by Napoles.

Wearing bulletproof vests, the two were escorted by armed men from the Justice Department’s Witness Protection Program, when they showed up before Manila Asst. Prosecutor Philger Inovejas shortly before 10 a.m.

Also named as their co-acussed were Luy’s parents, Arturo and Getrudes, and siblings Arthur and Anabelle.

Benhur is a distant cousin and former employee of Napoles. Sunas was designated by Napoles as president in one of the bogus NGOs.

A spokesman for President Benigno Aquino III said the Palace would not prevent Cabinet officials from attending any investigation on the pork barrel scandal.

“If we are invited, I suppose we will attend,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

But Lacierda immediately cast doubt on the claims of show business columnist Lolit Solis that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad, and Mila Drilon, wife of Senate President Franklin Drilon, had dealings with Napoles in the past.

“Are you asking me to comment? We will not dignify statements coming from a showbiz (personality),” Lacierda added.

In an interview over radio dzBB, Solis claimed she was with Napoles in 2009 when a certain Jojo called up to ask for campaign funds for the 2010 presidential elections. Solis said she asked Napoles who that Jojo was, and the latter replied that it was “Jojo Ochoa” who was then among the movers of Aquino’s presidential campaign.

In another interview, Solis claimed that Julia Abad and Mila Drilon attended one of the parties hosted by Napoles.

While Lacierda did not comment on Solis’ claims, he said investigators will go where the evidence would lead them, even if the pork barrel scam goes all the way to Malacañang.

He also assured the public that the administration will not influence the NBI in its probe to protect allies.

Also on Wednesday, Napoles’ lawyer called on her former law partner, Justice Scetary Leila de Lima, to stick to the “real issue” of the misuse of pork barrel, instead of leading information to the media concerning the investigation.

Lawyer Lorna Kapunan said developments in the case always end up with the media before she and Napoles get to know about it.

“Why is there always a leak from the NBI? What is the nature of an NBI investigation? Is it confidential? If it is, then let’s keep it confidential. If it’s public, then let’s keep it public,” Kapunan said.

“Allow us to be represented there, allow Napoles to attend so that she will know the nature and quality of their whistleblower evidence,” Kapunan added, complaining of the delay in the filing of formal charges against her client.

Kapunan has previously insinuated that it was the Justice secretary who told the media of the impending issuance of an arrest warrant for Napoles.

“The problem is everything is being told to the media. So we ask ourselves: Is this part of a grand scheme to condition the mind of the public?”

She added that even if her client were convicted, this would not solve the problem of the misuse of pork barrel, officially the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

In the House, a member of the independent minority bloc, party-list Rep. Lito Atienza urged the President to set the record straight and send a letter to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad telling them his stand on pork barrel.

Senator Francis Escudero, meanwhile, said Congress would likely defend the constitutionality of pork barrel before the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition to stop the release of PDAF. With Macon R. Araneta, Joyce P. Panares, Maricel V. Cruz  and Ferdinand Fabella
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