Palace: We will recover pork scam loot

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2014 03:30 PM | Updated as of Jun 18 2014 11:30 PM

MANILA - A Palace official assured the public that the government is determined to recover all ill-gotten wealth amassed through the pork barrel scam.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reacted to a news report quoting Presidential Commission on Good Government Chair Andres Bautista that recovering the pork barrel funds amassed in the scam may prove to be difficult.

“Natunghayan ko ang ulat na ‘yan at ang sinalaysay ng tagapangulo ng PCGG, si Dean Andy Bautista, ay hinggil sa naging karanasan ng komisyon sa pag-recover doon sa diumano’y ill-gotten wealth ng mga Marcoses. At ipinunto niya na simula pa ‘nung 1986 na halos 30 taon na ang nakalilipas ay nagsisikap ang pamahalaan na ma-recover nga, ano, 'yung alleged ill-gotten wealth," he said.

He said that despite the hitches, the government will do all it can to recover the stolen public funds.

An ABS-CBN report earlier revealed alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Napoles allegedly sent millions of dollars to the United States, which were deposited in banks and used for investments.

In the records alone of key whistleblower Benhur Luy, dollar remittances ranging anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 were made almost every week in 2011.

In one instance, Napoles supposedly sent $1 million to the US.

The lawyer of one whistleblower claimed that Napoles has dollar investments.

Based on the documents and affidavits of the whistleblower, Napoles had some P15 billion in accumulated transactions in different banks over some 10 years.

She is also said to own 74 condominium units, houses, and lots in posh subdivisions.

Her daughter Jeane earlier claimed that her parents own the properties she was reported to possess, including a P54.73 million condominium unit at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles.

A company belonging to the Napoles family also owns the $7.4-million Anaheim Express Inn near Disneyland in California.

Along with 3 senators, Napoles is facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan.

If she is found guilty, the government's next step is to recover all her assets.

Bautista earlier said that the law is more protective of pieces of property owned by private individuals like Napoles.