Napoles could have emptied bank accounts

by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2013 08:31 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2013 04:31 AM

MANILA - Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles could have emptied her bank accounts before the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a 6-month freeze order on her assets, a new witness in the pork barrel scandal said.

Alexis, the whistleblower, told ABS-CBN News that she was among those allegedly ordered by Napoles to set up bogus foundations.

"Ang papel ko po sa kumpanya nagtatayo ng mga NGOs. Ako ang nag-aayos ng mga papeles at maglilista ng mga tao opisyal nito," she said.

The witness, a former employee of JLN Corp., said they started closing bank accounts when the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) got custody of key whistleblower Benhur Luy.

She said it's possible that most of the accounts now being investigated by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) are already empty.

"Pinagawa sa amin, winithdraw ang pera sa mga accounts tapos ilan nagbukas ulit," she said.

The new witness also corroborated Luy's claims that Napoles has so much money that banks run out of cash when she withdraws funds.

"Grabe minsan, dapat ang [Toyota] Innova, sa bigat ng pera. Madalas simot ang pera ng bangko," Alexis said.

The lawyer of the new witness believes these revelations will help government's case against Napoles.

"She will complete the picture of the scam. Her testimony is vital," said Atty. Lourdes Benipayo, one of the lawyers of the whistleblowers.

The new witness is ready to appear before the Senate's investigation into the pork barrel scandal.

The new witness is also hoping to be admitted to government's witness protection program.

415 accounts

The CA's freeze order on the financial assets of Napoles and her associates covers a total of around 415 accounts, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

De Lima said the 415 accounts are as follows:

344 bank accounts
66 insurance policies
5 possibly credit card accounts.

Out of the 415 accounts, De Lima said 107 are in the name of Janet Lim Napoles herself.

The frozen accounts are in 17 banks/banking institutions and 6 insurance companies.

The CA order was in response to the application of a freeze order filed by the Office of the Solicitor General on behalf of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The court has also given the AMLC the green light to look into the bank and financial accounts of Napoles, members of her family, staff, and NGOs she allegedly formed.

The banks and insurance companies that have Napoles accounts covered by the order are:

BDO-Unibank Inc BDO Elite Savings Bank Inc.
Citibank, NA

Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp
HSBC Savings Bank (Phils) Inc.
Land Bank of the Philippines-Greenhills

Metrobank Card Corp.
Metropolitan Bank
United Coconut Planters Bank

Air Material Wing SLA Inc.
Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd.
Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp.

Philippine American Life & General Insurance Co. Inc.
Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co Inc.
Sun Life of America. - with reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News