Philippines

Indictment of Napoles in US bolsters gov’t case: Palace

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Indictment of Napoles in US bolsters gov’t case: Palace
By Jelly Musico

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Thursday said the indictment of Janet Lim-Napoles before the United States Department of Justice has strengthened the government’s case against the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind.

“We view the United States federal grand jury indictment against Mrs. Janet Lim-Napoles as a positive development, as it bolsters the government’s case against her before the Sanddiganbayan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that the US Department of Justice has charged Napoles and her five family members — children Jo Christine, James Christopher and Jeane; and her brother Reynald Lim and his wife Ana — with money laundering and conspiracy.

Napoles and her family members allegedly conspired to illegally transmit Philippine government funds worth USD20 million to the US to buy real estate assets and luxury vehicles.

“The charge of money laundering against Mrs. Napoles and her co-defendants shows that there is reason to believe that they attempted to retain the ill-gotten gains from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam,” Roque said.

Roque believed that with the continuous coordination with US authorities, the funds that Napoles and her co-defendants stashed will soon be returned for the benefit of Filipinos.

“As more of Mrs. Napoles’ schemes come to light, it becomes imperative to charge all those who illegal profited from her transactions, regardless of their position or political affiliation,” Roque said.

Napoles, currently detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, previously asked the Supreme Court to stop her indictment in the PDAF cases but her petitions had been dismissed. (PNA)

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