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Napoles, Revilla sons are business partners

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After he was named as one of the lawmakers linked to the alleged pork barrel syndicate run by Janet Lim-Napoles, Sen Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr has not addressed the question of his relationship with Napoles.

The senator has only said his name was being dragged into the controversy by people who want to derail his possible bid for a higher position in the 2016 elections. Rappler previously published photographs of him and another senator, his close friend Jinggoy Estrada, partying with Napoles and their relatives.

Revilla might be better off admitting their links.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents show the senator’s eldest son Leonard Bryan Bautista co-owns a business with Napoles’ son, James Christopher Napoles, and her nephew Ronald Lim Jr.

James Napoles also has prominent business partners in other companies, based on SEC records, such as Fernando Martin "Borgy" Marcos Manotoc, son of Ilocos Norte Gov Imee Marcos, and TV host Raymond Gutierrez. (In an Inquirer story in April 2012, the 30th wedding anniversary of the Napoles couple, Borgy Manotoc was reported to be among the guests. He was described in the story as a good friend of Bryan Revilla whose real name is Leonard Bryan Bautista.)

The company owned by Bryan Bautista and James Napoles, PB & J Corp, was incorporated on Jan 1, 2011, or 6 months after Sen Revilla (real name Jose Mari Bautista) was re-elected senator and his wife Lani Mercado Revilla (Bryan’s mother) was elected congresswoman of Cavite’s first district.

Other incorporators are Philip Cambe and Darwin Chester Cruz.

No financial filings

The company is engaged in “wholesale and trade,” according to its SEC registration. It holds office at the Mezzanine Cavite Coliseum, which is within the commercial complex owned and operated by the Revilla family along Aguinaldo Highway in Bacoor, Cavite, across the street from the mansion of the patriarch, former Sen Ramon Revilla Sr.

PB & J Corp registered with P5 million in capital stocks. Bryan Bautista has the most number of shares with 5,000, followed by James Napoles with 4,750. The third biggest number of shares is with Philip Cambe, 2,500.

Darwin Cruz and Ronaldo Lim Jr seem to hold token shares, with 125 each.

The company has not filed any financial statement with SEC since. Companies are required to file one with the SEC every year.

Whistleblower Benhur Luy, who kept records of Napoles’ supposed transaction with lawmakers, said that P1.017 billion of Sen Bong Revilla’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2006-2011 went to non-governmental organizations formed and controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles. (Luy has accused Napoles of detaining him. The National Bureau of Investigation rescued Luy in March from Napoles' residence at Pacific Plaza Towers in Taguig. On Wednesday, August 14, a Makati court ordered the arrest of Napoles and her brother Reynaldo Lim in connection with Luy's complaint.)

The fund, coursed by lawmakers through various implementing agencies, was allegedly not spent on projects but instead split between Napoles and the lawmakers, Luy said.

Rappler checked state audit reports for 2007-2011 that covered the government-owned National Agri-Business Corp, one of the agencies through which Napoles’ NGOs accessed lawmakers’ PDAF.

The Commission on Audit found questionable the release of P9.7 million of Revilla’s PDAF to the St James the Apostle Multi-Purpose Cooperative. This was despite its failure to comply with the requisites for entitlement to government funds. The group could not be immediately linked to Napoles, however. There are no SEC records of its creation.

Partner to the stars

James Napoles has 4 other active companies under his name, according to SEC records. None of them has filed annual financial statements, as required by the SEC.

SEC documents on the Napoles family’s businesses also reveal business partnerships with popular people.

James Napoles and his sister Jo-Christine – the one who withdrew her nomination with the OFW Party List – are business partners with “Borgy” Marcos Manotoc. They formed Hashlab Inc, which is engaged in advertising, on March 19, 2012.

James and Jo-Christine also formed a public relations company with TV host Raymond Gutierrez. The Lead PR Inc was registered on April 3, 2012.

In a statement sent to Rappler on August 28, Gutierrez said: " for the supposed business with James Napoles, I met him twice in 2012 through mutual friends and that planned business never materialized. I have no affiliation with them at this time. I hope this clears things up."

Gian Paolo Carlo “DJ Jon” Herrera is a co-owner, along with James Napoles siblings, of two companies: D Urban Retail Concepts Inc (wholesale) and Socal Holdings Inc (financial holdings), formed on Nov 16, 2011 and July 9, 2013, respectively.

Jo-Christine Napoles is also an incorporator of D Urban Retail Concepts, while DJ Jon’s wife, model and host Patricia Kristina “Patti” Grandidge, is also an incorporator of Socal Holdings. –