MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Court of Appeals on Friday, August 16, ordered all bank accounts of Janet Lim-Napoles, family members, relatives, and staff to be frozen.
Accounts of non-government organizations linked to Napoles and her relatives and staff are covered by the freeze order as well.
Acting on a petition filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), the CA said the freeze order will be effective for a period of 6 months.
The AMLC can request the court to extend the period of the freeze order if and when it finds enough evidence to warrant so, Rappler learned from Levito Baligod, counsel for the former Napoles employees who are testifying about her alleged syndicate that siphons off lawmkers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
According to the AMLC and the OSG, all concerned banks have been served with copy of the Freeze Order Friday afternoon.
Napoles’ lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, described the order as “despotic.”
Rappler investigation has uncovered the Napoles family owning properties in the US worth a combined P495 million, acquired during years when their registered businesses in the Philippines reported net income of less than P1 million.
In the Philippines, Rappler sources say, they are known to own houses, condominiums, and offices in at least 7 localities, although the Inquirer reported at least 28 houses in more locations.
The National Bureau of Investigation has released a list of 30 vehicles, many of them high-end, being used by the Napoleses.
Rappler reports on the National Agri-Business Corporation, a government corporation used as conduit of the PDAF, shows almost half of misused funds going to questionable NGOs, including those controlled by Napoles.
Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim are being hunted down by NBI agents. Warrants of arrests were issued against them by a Makati court on Wednesday for the serious illegal detention of Benhur Luy, their cousin and former employee who had turned state witness on the pork barrel scam. – Rappler.com