Janet Napoles signed withdrawal slips for Luy et al. to take out millions in cash—AMLC
MANILA, Philippines—The Anti-Money Laundering Coucil (AMLC) on Thursday disclosed evidence that accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles controlled the dummy foundations purportedly used by lawmakers to earn kickbacks.
During Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s bail hearing for plunder, AMLC investigator Leigh Von Santos said Napoles signed and confirmed the withdrawal slips for the whistleblowers which authorized them to draw out millions of cash from banks.
“The withdrawal receipts were confirmed by Napoles… This is an indication that Napoles has control over the NGOs (non-government organizations),” Santos said.
Santos also said the AMLC found it unusual that the whistleblowers withdrew large amounts of cash instead of portions of it as the projects were ongoing.
He said the AMLC inquiry on Napoles’ bank transactions corroborated the witnesses’ statements that the businesswoman ordered them to withdraw money.
“It’s riskier to carry cash… In the ordinary course, withdrawals would be made portion by portion while the project is ongoing,” Santos said.
“This fact corroborates the testimony that the deposits and withdrawals were made for the funding of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) commissions,” he added.
Napoles’ defense counsel argued that their client had no role in the scam since the whistleblowers headed the foundations, signed the transaction documents and withdrew the money from bank.
The whistleblowers, led by Benhur Luy, argued that they were acting under Napoles’ orders.
Napoles is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward as she faces plunder for allegedly masterminding the scam that involved the channeling of lawmakers’ PDAF or pork barrel to bogus NGOs or foundations.
The scam has led to the arrest and detention of Napoles, Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, and their lawyer aides Richard Cambe and Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes. Enrile, 90, is under hospital detention.
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