MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Monday said it is investigating if businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, gave donations to candidates in the 2007, 2010 and 2013 elections.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that so far, the poll body has not found any campaign donations given to candidates in the senatorial and party-list elections last May 2013.
"So far, we have not found any Napoles contributions to senatorial candidates as well as party-lists. We are checking it one by one. We are now going backwards to 2010-2007 because this is when the Napoles issues started," he said.
The poll chief said Comelec found Napoles links to the non-government organization Ang Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal Para sa Ikakaunlad ng Lokal na Ekonomiya Inc. (A-SMILE), an NGO that was set up by Napoles' husband, Jaime, and her brother, Ronald. The group, however, failed to win a seat in the 2004 and 2007 party-list elections.
A-SMILE was also tagged as a potential beneficiary of electoral fraud in the "Hello Garci" scandal in the 2004 polls.
Brillantes earlier said key whistle-blower Benhur Luy contributed P200,000 to A-SMILE in the 2007 polls.
"Wala naman violation," he said.
In the 2013 polls, Napoles' daughter Jo Christine was the substitute 3rd nominee of winning party-list group OFW Family Club. She was named substitute nominee after the group's original 3rd, 4th and 5th nominees all resigned.
OFW Family club won 2 seats, which went to Roy Seneres and Johnny Revilla - the latter now the subject of an electoral protest. Christine later backed out of the group after the pork barrel scam broke out. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/09/12/13/napoles-group-tried-get-congress-seat-thrice
In the interview, Brillantes said the poll body is checking the statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs) of all candidates who participated in the May polls.
He said any candidate found guilty of falsifying their SOCEs could face falsification and perjury raps.
The Comelec First Division on Thursday disqualified Laguna governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito for overspending in the May 2013 elections. The poll body said Ejercito spent P6 million for TV ads in just one network when he was only allowed to spend P4.5 million for the 1,525,522 registered voters in the province.