NBI to file Malampaya fund scam cases Thursday-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
(Updated) CASES against businesswoman Janet Napoles and her cohorts will be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday in connection with the alleged misuse of P900-million revenue from the Malampaya natural gas project in Palawan.
No lawmaker is listed in the cases such as plunder as the evidence only found culpability on the part of some officials in the Executive department, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Wednesday.
She declined to provide names of the other respondents, whose charges will depend on their participation in the alleged scam.
"I cannot tell you yet at this point. I can't confirm until the last minute how many will be charged," de Lima told reporters.
De Lima would have wanted to forward the complaints on Wednesday but the whistleblowers like Benhur Luy had to attend the bail hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court branch 150 on Napoles' serious illegal detention case.
The whistleblowers are required to swear to the affidavits to be submitted to the Ombudsman.
Napoles was earlier charged with plunder and corruption of public officials before the Ombudsman for using fake non-government organizations (NGOs) as implementers of ghost projects under the lawmakers' priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
Some past and present legislators accused of receiving kickbacks from Napoles were listed in the complaints.
Napoles, meanwhile, allegedly had 12 NGOs which pocketed Malampaya funds, which was intended for the rehabilitation of areas in Luzon ravaged by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng" in 2009.
De Lima said Napoles’ employees in JLN Corp. forged signatures of 97 mayors, making it appear that they had requested and benefited from the P900 million secured by the businesswoman.
Levito Baligod, lawyer of some whistleblowers, said last week that a former Cabinet official is involved in the scam. However, he conceded that only Napoles can determine if some government officials received commissions from the anomalous transactions.
"If there is really no public official involved, then the case would be malversation of public funds by private individuals," he said.
The NBI will file the second batch of pork-barrel related cases in the coming days. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)