Manila court seizes Napoles assets

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MANILA -- Businesswoman Janet Napoles, her family and others allegedly involved in the corruption of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) could not touch their assets for 20 days due to an order from a Manila court.

Covered by the provisional asset preservation order (Papo) issued by Judge Marino dela Cruz Jr. of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 22 are money instruments, bank accounts, real properties, motor vehicles and other assets.

The court order, which granted the petition filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), stops the "transaction, transfer, removal, conversion, concealment or other disposition" of the subject assets as these may be linked to unlawful activities.

Also seized were the assets of main whistleblower Benhur Luy, Arthur Luy, Gertrudes Luy, former Agusan del Sur representative Rodolfo Plaza, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Zenaida Ducut, non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles, JLN Corp., state-owned ZNAC Rubber Estate Corp., Ruby Tuason who wanted to turn state witness in the scam, and Ana Marie Lim, among other individuals.

The order was issued on February 26 or nearly three weeks after Tuason returned to the country from the United States to detail her transactions with Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the diversion of their PDAF to Napoles' ghost projects.

Tuason is a co-respondent in the plunder charges filed against Napoles, Enrile, Estrada and Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The AMLC earlier secured from the Court of Appeals (CA) a six-month freeze order on more than 400 bank accounts of Napoles, her relatives and NGOs and some whistleblowers.

But the CA order expired last February 17, prompting the AMLC to seek help from the Manila court. (Sunnex)

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