Latest Stories

Henares: BIR probing Napoles

Nothing to fear if (she) paid right taxes’

By , Gil C. Cabacungan


Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said Thursday her office was conducting a comprehensive investigation on whether businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, paid her taxes properly for her reported multimillion-peso properties.

Henares said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) began the investigation after the Inquirer published a series of reports on the alleged involvement of Napoles in the diversion of funds from lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects of bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs).

“She did say she had many properties … If you have many properties there won’t be any problem if you are paying the right taxes,” Henares said at a news briefing at the Department of Justice where she announced the latest tax evasion cases filed by her office.

“If what Napoles said is true, these are legitimate income and they paid taxes for it, then there is nothing to fear,” she said.

Asked whether the BIR investigation would include looking at Napoles’ reported properties in the United States, the BIR chief said that if the investigation would require the agency to do so, “we will.”

“We can’t really tell you where we are now and what is going on in the investigation. Suffice to say, it’s ongoing … All I can do is assure you it’s a comprehensive investigation,” she said.

Napoles has claimed that her fabulous mansions, hotels, luxury condos, exotic cars and loaded bank accounts came from coal trading.

Lorna Kapunan, Napoles’ lawyer, said Thursday that the incorporation papers reported in the Inquirer proved that Napoles had no hand in the creation of the 17 fake NGOs being linked to the businesswoman that were allegedly used in the pork barrel scam.

Kapunan, however, was silent on the linkages between companies owned by the Napoles family and the 17 NGOs that shared common incorporators, auditors and notary public lawyers. The presidents of the NGOs  were employed at the Napoles-owned JLN Corp.

Coal in Indonesia

“You have again twisted the statement of (former General Hermogenes) Esperon and reported a falsehood. The coal company in the Philippines has not taken off because of the high costs of bringing coal to the Philippines (e.g. Napocor rates). AStar Power (Philippines) has no business here since it was formed some two years ago. It is the coal company in Indonesia where Napoles owns shares that is making money,” Kapunan said in a text message to the Inquirer.

Kapunan was reacting to a statement by Esperon who said: “I have been reading a lot about Napoles’ wealth and I can tell you it did not come from coal trading. I know it came from somewhere else and just like everyone, I’d also like to find out the truth behind all these things.”

Esperon on Thursday clarified that he was only talking about his experience with the Napoles-controlled coal trading company, Asia Star Power Resources Corp., which he had personal knowledge of and not the coal business which Napoles had been alluding to since July 23 in an interview with ABS-CBN News anchor Korina Sanchez.

The retired general quit after only six months in AStar Power because Napoles’ husband, AStar Power chair Jaime Napoles, could not come up with the $7.5 million he committed to the coal venture.

“I resigned from AStar Power but I do not know whether they continued with it or the coal business. AStar Power was not a shell company while we were there. We really sweated it out,” Esperon said.

Coal business

In the Sanchez interview, Napoles, her husband and two children, James and Jo Christine, explained that the family’s wealth came from “a successful business in coal export and trade to China, India and Pakistan, and other (countries) since the 1990s.”

Sanchez also talked to “a longtime business partner (of the Napoleses) who flew in to testify to the legitimacy of the Napoles family business.”

The unidentified business partner said: “In 1998, we grew together up to right now. Now we have become bigger. In Jakarta, we have property, around 650 hectares.”

While the Indonesia coal venture should explain the Napoles’ family fortune, Kapunan claimed that the Inquirer’s documents culled from the Securities and Exchange Commission proved that her client had no connection with the 20 bogus NGOs as charged by her former employees and now pork barrel scam whistle-blowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas.

Bong Revilla, 22 times

“Your own documents speak for themselves. Mrs. Napoles is neither incorporator, director, officer and yet you believe the hearsay, self-serving statements of your sources who claim that Mrs. Napoles ‘authorized them.’ Suñas herself said she was the one who incorporated all these companies and Luy confessed he forged signatures of some senators and congressmen,” Kapunan said.

“Shouldn’t you be questioning them and not Mrs. Napoles? Or maybe you are acting under the instructions or payroll of the powers that be as our sources allegedly claim?” Kapunan asked.

Kapunan echoed the claim of Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. who said that his inclusion in the pork barrel scam was part of a “smear campaign” engineered by the Aquino administration. Luy said that Revilla used fake NGOs for his pork barrel 22 times, the most among five senators implicated.

Common pattern

Kapunan, however, was mum on the common pattern that emerged from the SEC documents:

– Vanessa A. Eman, the president of Abundant Harvest for People’s Foundation Inc. (a fake NGO), is listed as one of the incorporators of JLN Construction formed by Napoles in 2008.

– JLN Construction also listed as a stockholder Andres B. Atan who Luy claimed was a relative of a barangay (village) captain named Bruce Atan from Toril District in Davao City. (Bruce Atan was the middleman between Napoles and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chair of the powerful House appropriations committee who tapped Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc., to access P13 million of his pork barrel funds in 2011. Kaupdanan is said to be controlled by Napoles).

– Jo-Chris Communications Inc. had a president of a bogus NGO in its 2002 incorporation papers, Gertrudes K. Luy, president of Bukirin Tanglaw Foundation Inc.

– Two other fake NGO presidents have also signed as witnesses to the incorporation papers of Jo-Chris—Evelyn de Leon of Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. and Marina C. Sula of Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc.

Accountant Mario C. de la Cruz prepared the 2011 financial statements of both Jo-Chris and JLN Construction as well as nine of the 17 NGOs reviewed by the Inquirer (another accountant, Susan Victorino, handled four).

Lawyer Editha P. Talaboc notarized the incorporation papers of 11 of the 17 NGOs while Mark Olivero notarized the papers of JLN Construction and three fake NGOs and Joel Gordola notarized Jo-Chris and one fake NGO.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bureau of Internal Revenue , pork barrel scam , Probe

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Lifestyle

  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Kristo gathers 100 artists
  • ‘Magkabilaan’ concert at Peta celebrates 20-year dance partnership
  • Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  • Taboan 2014 in Subic: A movable, moving literary feast
  • Entertainment

  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • The Way They Like It
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace