Sandigan denies AMLC bid to junk subpoena on Napoles’ bank accounts
The Sandiganbayan has denied for lack of merit the bid of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to junk the subpoena the court issued on the bank transactions of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet-Lim Napoles in the plunder case of former senator Jinggoy Estrada.
In a resolution promulgated Feb. 21, the anti-graft court Fifth Division said the AMLC’s motion is denied as it failed to prove that the subpoena duces tecum the court issued November last year was “unreasonable and oppressive.”
The court said the subpoenaed documents are relevant to Estrada’s plunder case.
The court granted Estrada’s request for the court to subpoena the following documents: AMLC memoranda, resolutions and reports, suspicious transaction reports, communications, as well as papers and pleadings pertaining to the financial transactions and related accounts of Napoles from 2004 to 2012.
The court said the documents “would determine the scope and regularity of the investigation conducted by the AMLC with respect to the financial transactions of Ms. Napoles.”
It added that Estrada has the right to ask about the methodology of the AMLC in investigating the bank accounts, and that the “accuracy of the AMLC’s report hinges on the manner how the investigation was carried out.”
Estrada faces a plunder trial for allegedly receiving P183 million kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Funds which were supposedly spent in ghost projects for kickbacks through the bogus foundations of accused mastermind Napoles.
He was denied bail, and remains in police custody with co-accused Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.
Another accused, the elderly Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was allowed by the Supreme Court to post bail due to humanitarian considerations.
Estrada was also accused of 11 counts of graft for violating Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law for allegedly causing injury to government and giving undue preference to Napoles’ bogus foundations to implement his ghost pork barrel projects.
In its bank inquiry report on Estrada, the AMLC said Estrada’s commissions totaled P156 million which first showed up in his bank accounts on Sept. 21, 2007 and continued until March 24, 2010. Of this amount, check deposits totaled P116.6 million and were recorded in the documents until July 26, 2012. The check deposits ranged from P1 million to P10 million.
The bank records identified significant check deposits or transactions from accused mastermind Napoles and the foundations linked to her to Estrada’s alleged conduits — Juan Ng and Francis Yenko who in turn deposited the alleged kickbacks to Estrada’s eight bank accounts.
Ng, an acquaintance of Estrada, is a businessman trading in steel roofing in San Juan, where Estrada served as mayor.
Meanwhile, Yenko is a former San Juan City administrator and later Senate director. He now heads the General Services Office in Manila where the mayor is the senator’s father, former President Joseph Estrada. JE
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