AMLC: P144M funneled to Napoles firm’s bank
A total of P144 million in cash deposits were transferred to the bank accounts of a company owned by suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles from two bogus foundations the detained businesswoman allegedly owned from 2009 to 2011, according to an official of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Wrapping up his testimony at the bail hearing of detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in the Sandiganbayan on Monday, AMLC bank investigator Orlando Negradas Jr. said bank records showed that the huge amounts that were withdrawn from the bank accounts of Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (SDPFFI) and Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI) were later deposited to the accounts of JLN Corp.
Principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy was the registered president of SDPFFI while another witness, Marina Sula, acted as president of MAMFI.
Answering questions during the redirect examination handled by Special Prosecutor Lalaine Benitez, Negradas also told the antigraft court’s Fifth Division that Napoles had control over the financial matters of the fake nongovernment organizations.
He said Napoles’ identification cards were used to transact business with the banks where the foundations kept their accounts and that several withdrawal slips contained notes which showed that she had approved the withdrawals.
Negradas, who led the investigation into the bank records of Estrada and his close associates, likewise disclosed that the signatures of businessman Juan Ng that appeared on his ID and on the checks he issued were “dissimilar.”
Asked by Benitez how he was able to arrive at the conclusion when he had admitted that he was not a handwriting expert, he replied: “You don’t have to be a handwriting expert to conclude that the signatures were different.”
According to the AMLC, Ng was among the several individuals whose accounts were used by Estrada to receive his kickbacks from Napoles.
Ombudsman Director Joefferson Torribio said it was part of Negradas’ duty as bank investigator to compare the signatures of individuals under investigation which appeared in pertinent documents.
But lawyer Alexis Abastillas-Suarez, a member of Estrada’s defense team, said Negradas’ testimony did not carry any legal weight since he admitted in open court that he was not a handwriting expert.
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