MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in years, Janet “Jenny” Napoles will miss visiting the grave of her mother, Magdalena Lim, at the family mausoleum in Heritage Park in Taguig City.
Still detained in Fort Santo Domingo over an illegal detention charge involving key pork barrel scam witness Benhur Luy, Napoles, would have wanted to visit her mother who passed away on Feb 28, 2008, according to her former lawyer Lorna Kapunan.
Magdalena, Janet’s mother, was a deeply religious woman. She is known to have helped poor priests and seminarians in China, and contributed to projects for the elderly and inmates of the New Bilibid Prisons, according to a previous Rappler story.
Stricken with lung problems and diabetes, Magdalena died at the age of 72. Her daughter Jenny, however, never forgot her, and had monthly Masses said at the mausoleum starting in 2010.
On the eve of All Saints’ Day, the mausoleum had only a few people inside, including Jimmy Napoles, Janet’s husband. Bearing traces of Halloween, some decor was still visible at the sides of the mausoleum.
The air-conditioned structure constructed for Magdalena is made of gray granite. Mausoleums can be constructed only on the garden lots of the sprawling Heritage Park, as these lots are the largest and can accommodate up to 32 bodies.
A garden lot, according to the Heritage Park website, measures 39.04 square meters. Garden lots can cost anywhere between P4.2 and P8 million.
But the mausoleum of Magdalena Lim stands on a 250-300-square-meter lot, and is said to be valued at about P30 million.
Drilon, Estrada, Santos
Janet Napoles also hosted halloween parties, complete with raffles and food, at the mausoleum. She invited VIPs from both political and entertainment circles. On Thursday night, October 31, however, there was no such Halloween party.
According to the Sept 12, 2013, affidavit of pork barrel scam whistleblower Marina Sula, it was also at the mausoleum where she saw Senate President Franklin Drilon and his wife Mila attend the first death anniversary of Napoles’ mother in 2009.
“Noong taong 2009 po ay nakita ko sila sa Heritage Park sa Taguig City nang dumalo sila sa death anniversary ng nanay ni Madam Janet Napoles,” she said.
Sula also saw Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Mae Catherine “Maya” Santos, who attended commemorations of Magdalena’s death anniversary. Santos had been identified by whistleblower Merlina Suñas as the project coordinator of senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Loren Legarda.
The mausoleum is the same place where Napoles met with Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in the evening of August 28 to negotiate her surrender to President Benigno Aquino III.
An upscale cemetery, Heritage Park is where the remains of personalities like actors Rudy Fernandez and Dolphy, talent manager Douglas Quijano, former Isabela Governor Benjamin Dy, and former solicitor general Frank Chavez are buried. – with LeAnne Jazul and Chay F Hofileña/Rappler.com