The complex layers of the pork barrel scam unravels — revealing the extensive involvement of lawmakers, government agencies, and alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. Former heads of the agriculture department’s subsidiary agencies face the Senate Thursday and admit their agencies released funds to dubious NGOs Napoles set up but failed to check the NGOs’ backgrounds and project implementation. They say the fund releases were approved based on endorsements from lawmakers. A former official also says Senators Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada signed liquidation reports of NGOs linked to Napoles. In an interview with Rappler, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes says the agency has been quietly doing its own probe on the P900 million from the Malampaya Fund that ended up with Napoles’ NGOs instead of beneficiary farmers. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue is assessing the filing of tax evasion charges against Napoles, but the agency admits her ownership of properties is not easy to prove. BIR chief Kim Henares says most of the 30 properties Napoles reportedly owns are under other people’s names. Rappler reported on 4 Napoles-linked properties in the United States, including an P80-million apartment in Los Angeles under the name of her daughter Jeane.
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