P25M hit job out for DOJ, NBI chiefs, lawyer BaligodBy Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s a P25-million contract out for the assassination of the secretary of justice, the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation and the lawyer of the whistle-blowers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Three sources—a former Marine officer, an NBI agent and a Philippine National Police official—told the Inquirer about the plot to kill Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas and lawyer Levito Baligod.
The hits are to be carried out by two teams of former Marines and policemen from Basilan province, the sources said.
De Lima, Rojas and Baligod are designated as “hard targets,” the sources said.
The contract includes hitting “soft targets,” which the sources identified as journalists.
A source from the NBI told the Inquirer that De Lima had been informed about the plot.
The sources, who asked not to be named “so as not to burn” their “contacts,” said they began to receive information about the plot four days ago.
“We would like to be updated on the progress of the plot. We might scare them and they may not talk to us if they learn we have been talking to reporters,” one of the sources said.
The sources did not say who had put out the contract, but said that among those who would carry out the hits were former members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) who took part in the 1989 coup against then President Corazon Aquino.
“They feel neglected after the coup plot failed and it was only Jimmy (Jaime Napoles, husband of Janet Lim-Napoles) who helped and supported them,” one of the sources said.
Jaime “Jimmy” Napoles is a retired Marine officer who took part in the 1989 coup. He was a member of RAM and is reportedly part of his wife’s business operations.
The former putschists make up the first team of assassins, the sources said.
The second team is made up of former members of the Civil Home Defense Force, a military-supported militia, who are now members of the police force, they said.
They said they had validated the information and they received positive returns.
“All validation came back fast and positive. But we cannot confirm it 100 percent,” one of the sources said.
Contacted by the Inquirer for comment, Rojas said he had received a report about the assassination plot.
But he shrugged off the threat to him, saying threats to his life were part of his job as head of an investigative agency.
“We will not be deterred or threatened. This is not the first time for us to get a threat. We know we did it right,” Rojas said.
Hit man talks
Baligod said he had learned that he was a target from one of the recruited hit men, and asked fellow members of the fraternity Vanguards and friends in the military to verify the information.
“They recruited a group from Basilan and negotiations started from P25 million,” Baligod said.
“I know they have the capability, but it will not stop me from helping the whistle-blowers,” Baligod said.
The NBI source said De Lima had offered security for Baligod.
A Makati court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim on charges of serious illegal detention involving the principal witness in the pork barrel scam.
The court recommended no bail for Napoles and Lim.
But Napoles and Lim received advanced information about their impending arrest and disappeared before NBI agents could serve the warrant of arrest on them.
The NBI and the police have launched a nationwide manhunt for the two fugitives.