Napoles may have had cosmetic surgery: NBI

From a report by Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2013 09:28 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2013 05:28 AM

Manhunt for Napoles, brother reaches Mindanao

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima believes Janet Lim Napoles is still in the country, but authorities suspect the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam may have a little trick up her sleeve to evade arrest.

Today is the 9th day for the manhunt for Napoles and her brother, Reynald Lim.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) admits there is difficulty in tracing the two, and they are verifying all the information they are receiving on her whereabouts.

That includes the reported credit card transaction of Napoles last Saturday from a hotel in Pasig, after all her bank accounts were frozen.

The NBI is also not discounting the possibility of Napoles having cosmetic surgery to change her looks, which has been done by other fugitives in the past.

The manhunt has already reached Mindanao where there are reported properties traced back to Napoles.

Authorities are also investigating a tip that she has already left the country after they were informed last Friday that she boarded a yacht from Manila.

But de Lima believes she is still inside the country. She is hoping that someone will recognize Napoles since she has been in the news, and that public sentiment in the pork barrel scam will work against her.

Meanwhile, the NBI is still studying the proposal to offer a reward, saying they are not sure if this will really help in the search for Napoles.