Palace to verify if Napoles sent letter to Aquino

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


MALACANANG said Wednesday that it would not be surprising if businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, who was allegedly behind the P10-billion fund scam, really sent a letter to President Benigno Aquino III.

In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, however, said that he has yet to verify if Napoles did send a letter to the President.

"We will verify if there's a letter... it's not a big thing that somebody writes to the Office of the President," he said.

He said many people send letters to Aquino and these undergo a process.

There were letters addressed to the Chief Executive but they passed through different offices before they were forwarded to the Office of the President (OP), Lacierda said.

The OP responded to each letter by referring it to the agency concerned, he added.

"It’s a normal process where a lot of people, citizens, would write letters to government and this is not a special issue," Lacierda explained.

Napoles reportedly sent a two-page letter to the President last April seeking his assistance on the alleged extortion attempt on her by Benhur Luy, her former assistant who accused her of kidnapping him, and the raid conducted on her condominium unit in Bonifacio Global City without any warrant on March 22 by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Napoles, president and CEO of trading firm JLN Corp., was allegedly behind the bogus non-profit organizations (NGOs), which were recipients of pork barrel and Malampaya funds of some lawmakers and government agencies over the past 10 years. The lawmakers who allegedly donated their pork barrel funds to Napoles' NGOs received huge kickbacks. The businesswoman denied the allegations against her.

The NBI is currently investigating on the alleged fund scam.

Quoting Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who has jurisdiction over the NBI, Lacierda assured thorough and exhaustive probe into the alleged multi-billion racket.

"And Secretary Leila spoke to me yesterday and she told me that she can assure all parties concerned that this will be exhaustive, impartial, and a fair investigation. That’s the guarantee that this government and Secretary Leila de Lima can assure all the parties involved," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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