Napoles defends Revilla’s wealth
MANILA, Philippines–Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles on Friday defended Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. on allegations her co-accused had stashed P87 million in banks at the time of the pork barrel scam.
Napoles said Revilla probably earned the money through his own production outfit, movie and television shows, and product endorsements.
“May production company nga siya, di ba? Iyong Imus Productions (He has a production company isn’t it? The Imus Productions),” Napoles said on the sidelines of her bail hearing.
“Saka artista siya, malaki ang kita niya doon (At the same time, he’s an actor who earns a lot),” she added.
Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David said he talked to Revilla, who told him the senator received as much as P40 million in one television series alone, “Indio”, on GMA Network.
“He then said, he still had product endorsements, films and TV series. So if we’re talking here, attorney, of P87 million, that’s too small,” David said, quoting Revilla.
Revilla is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center while facing plunder charges for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, the purported scheme of funneling public funds to ghost projects for kickbacks, which Napoles allegedly masterminded.
The AMLC investigator had told the court that Revilla deposited P87.6 million in his and immediate family members’ bank accounts from April 6, 2006 to April 28, 2010.
This was the same period that principal whistleblower Benhur Luy alleged that Revilla, through his aide and lawyer Richard Cambe, received kickbacks from his projects funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also known as pork barrel.
The AMLC also said Revilla closed these bank accounts at the height of the scandal.
The council also said Nature Concepts Development and Realty Corp., which is controlled by Revilla’s wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado-Revilla, received P27.745 million, the bulk of which were deposited around the time Cambe allegedly received Revilla’s kickbacks from Luy.
Revilla and his wife also transferred to the company at least P16 million, Santos said.
The AMLC also noted that Rep. Mercado-Revilla’s company received the money although it was not operating and had no substantial capital.
Revilla had argued that all his deposits came from his legitimate salaries as actor. But AMLC bank investigator Leigh Vhon Santos told the court they only looked into the unexplained wealth of Revilla and excluded his sources of income.