3 yachts allegedly owned by Napoles missing-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
THREE yachts reportedly owned by businesswoman Janet Napoles went missing at the Manila Yacht Club near Manila Bay, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Tuesday.
BI Officer-in-Charge Siegfried Mison said the information was relayed to him by a "confidential source" last week after the issuance of the warrant of arrest against Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim for serious illegal detention of a pork barrel scam whistleblower.
However, the BI official did not identify the names of the luxury sea vessel and he is not certain if Napoles owns the missing yachts.
"We confirmed sabi ng source meron daw tatlo dun dati ginagamit niya, hindi lang ako sure kung sa pangalan niya or ginamit niya, na wala na dun sa yacht club," said Mison.
Mison is confident the siblings are still in the country.
The BI is also in constant communication with its counterparts in neighboring countries particularly in Indonesia, to help locate Napoles apart from guarding the country's seaports and airports.
"An alert order has been issued to the possible backdoor they might use to flee the country. They can use the Balot Island which is near General Santos City, about three hours away from Indonesia and Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, which is near Malaysia," Mison said.
He added, "We have coordinated with Indonesian immigration at the Marore Island, which is near the Philippines. We alerted them by issuing information including pictures of Janet and Reynald."
Mison also said that they are guarding the southern part of the country since it would be difficult for a sea vessel to cruise the northern part because of the southwest monsoon.
"Pinakamahirap mag-yacht sa north dahil sa weather so kung lahat biyahe yacht sa south kung di mamatay sa takot sa alon," he said.
Mison said they are also coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) as they have jurisdiction over hangars, which deploys private planes.
"We have requested that they might want to consider giving us access or they could be vigilant and try to find out kung sino sakay na private planes that would have capacity to foreign destination," he said.
In Quezon City, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said they are not inclined to make Napoles as state witness in the alleged misuse of priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
She said Napoles has to surface first.
"Sa ngayon, ang ginagawa ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) ay iyong pagsampa ng kaso against her and iyong mga implicated ng mga whistleblower," said de Lima.
Napoles allegedly used fake non-government organizations (NGO) for ghost projects using the pork barrel of some lawmakers, who might face graft charges as well. (FP/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)