MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to scrutinize the reported 430 bank accounts of pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles, her family members and conduits.
In a 24-page resolution, the CA's second division gave the AMLC 5 months to examine the bank accounts of Napoles and that of bogus corporations allegedly identified with her. The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro and was concurred in by Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Danton Bueser.
"Wherefore, herein application for bank inquiry is granted. The Anti Money Laundering Council is authorized to Inquire into or examine, for a period of 5 months herefrom," the resolution reads.
The CA also instructed the AMLC to submit a report to the court within a period of 10 days from the expiration of the period. "Further, the AMLC is directed to submit a report to this Court within 10 days from the expiration of the said 5 month period to make such examination and/or inquiry," it was pointed out.
The court earlier issued a freeze order on the bank accounts of Napoles and her relatives and staff. The freeze order covers a period of 6 months.
Aside from Napoles, also covered by the bank scrutiny order are the bank accounts of her husband Jaime Napoles, children Jo Christine, James Christopher, John Christian, Jeane and Jane Napoles, and her brother Reynald "Jojo" Lim.
Also covered are the bank accounts of whistleblower Benhur Luy, his mother Gertrudes and Arthur Luy. Merlina Sunas, Evelyn Ditchon De Leon, Marina Sula, Nova Kaye Dulay Batal, Ronald Lim and Simonette Briones.
The corporations covered by the AMLC examination are the bank accounts of Abundan Harvest For People's Foundation Inc, Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Bukirin Tanglaw Foundation, Countrywide Agricultural and Rural Economic Development Foundation, A Smile Foundaition, JCLN Global Properties Devt. Corp., JCLN Real Estate Consortium Inc., JLN Construction and Devt. Corp., JLN Corp. Jo-Christine Trading and ZNAC Rubber Estate Corp.
The banks that shall be included in the inquiry on Napoles' bank accounts are Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, Citibank, Bank of Philippine Islands, Land Bank of the Philippines, Banco De Oro, Insular Bank, Metrobank, United Coconut Planters Bank and Air Materiel Wing Inc.
The CA said it reached the decision on the basis of allegations that Napoles was a party to a multi-billion scam involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.
"Based on the foregoing facts and circumstances, not to mention that this court takes judicial notice of current events relative to Napoles' purported involvement in the alleged P10-Billion scam perpetrated over the past 10 years by a syndicate using funds from PDAF of some members of Congress, there is probable cause to believe that the bank accounts belonging to or in the name of the aforementioned individuals and other persons or corporation entities mentioned above may be related to an unlawful activity," it said.