Napoles’ fertilizer-distributing firm housed in a ‘sari-sari’ store–COA
MANILA Philippines — One of the companies of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles is housed in a sari-sari store which has a sign “ice for sale.”
This is one of the findings of the Commmission on Audit (COA) that its assistant commissioner Susan Garcia testified on Friday during Napoles’ bail hearing from plunder at the Sandiganbayan.
Representing the prosecution as witness, Garcia said they have sent a team to verify the addresses of some of Napoles’ corporations and Nutrigrowth Philippines Inc., a supplier of fertilizers, did not exist in the specified address in Sampaloc, Manila.
“The team conducted an inspection. They can’t find it in the address. What they found is a residential house and a sari-sari store,” Garcia said.
In her direct examination of her witness, Prosecutor Annielyn Cabelis said the store was selling bottles and cans.
“(The team) was not able to find it in the existing address. it even has a sign ‘Ice for sale,'” Cabelis said.
Garcia added that Nutrigrowth is not licensed by the Fertilizers and Pesticide Authority to distribute fertilizers.
Napoles’ Nutrigrowth dealt with one of the alleged bogus foundations formed for the scam, the Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation (Mamfi), Garcia said.
For their part, Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David said his client told him the COA merely faked the pictures.
“Sabi ni Janet kanina, gawa gawa lang nila mga litratong ‘yun. Hindi niya alam saan galing ‘yung mga litrato (Janet told me a while ago that the COA merely faked those pictures. She does not know where those pictures came from),” David said.
Napoles was present during the hearing. When she was not holding her rosary, she was jotting down notes in a yellow pad paper.
David said Napoles was noting the inaccuracies that the official was supposedly providing.
David cited the address of Napoles’ Nutrigrowth, saying the company has many branches in Sangandaan and Bulacan.
Napoles is accused of masterminding the scam of pillaging lawmakers’ public funds to ghost projects for kickbacks. Detained for plunder are Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, as well as aides Richard Cambe and Gigi Reyes. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, is in the hospital under police custody pending his motion for hospital arrest.
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