Napoles had trolleys filled with cash, says ex-nanny

by Jing Castañeda and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2013 11:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2013 07:48 AM

MANILA - Janet Lim Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, got so much money that it filled trolleys and even her own bathtub, her former nanny disclosed on Thursday.

Benhur Luy and his mother Gertrudes Luy, Merlina Suñas, Marina Sula, Monette Briones, and Arlene Baltazar faced senators at a Blue Ribbon committee hearing to disclose Napoles' operations.

Gertrudes worked as nanny for Napoles' children from 1990 until 2012.

Aside from taking care of the kids, she said she was entrusted to receive bags of cash for Napoles, sometimes so huge that the money would fill up Napoles' bathtub.

"Iyung bag na yun minsan malaki, minsan karton, trolley-trolley. Minsan tinatanong ko magkano laman sinasabi P50 million, P30 million, P75 million," she said.

Sula, who was president of one of Napoles' bogus non-government organizations (NGOs), said she was in charge of creating NGOs, processing their papers, and opening bank accounts for those organizations, as well as for Napoles and her children.

Sula also said she was among those who destroyed documents to cover up Napoles' activities.

She narrated how Napoles tried to convince her not to testify against her.

"Tinawagan po ako ni Mrs. Napoles at ang sabi nya sa akin, 'Baby huwag kang tumalikod. Pakiusapan mo yung mga kasama mo kahit anong mangyari, kahit maubos ang pera ko, sama-sama tayo," Sula said.

Former Erap official

She also testified that she delivered money to the house of Ruby Tuason -- the former social welfare secretary of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Tuason is allegedly Napoles' contact in the offices of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.

Suñas, meanwhile, claimed that several lawmakers also received kickbacks from the malampaya funds.

However, she is not sure about the exact amounts.

"Meron konting usapan which I don't know magkano sharing nila," she said. "Basta pagdating po ng oras na ma-implement na yung project, siya (Napoles) na po ang nakakaalam kung kanino niya ibibigay."

The whistleblowers said they themselves notarized documents using the dry seals of lawyers who Napoles knows.

She said lawyers gave specimen signatures and dry seals to Napoles.

Sen. Francis Escudero said the issue should be investigated by the Professional Regulation Commission and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the alleged involvement of lawmakers is already being investigated by authorities.

It was also discovered during the hearing that Senator Koko Pimentel and his province, Surigao del Sur, were chosen as beneficiaries in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Napoles' nephew, John Lim.

Pimentel suspects that even non-Priority Development Assistance Funds are involved in the scam, and there is connivance between Napoles and government agencies like the DA.

"If a MOA [Memorandum of Agreement] is done without informing the legislator, something is really fishy," Pimentel said.

Meantime, Blue Ribbon committee chairman TG Guingona urged Senate President Franklin Drilon to reconsider his decision not to sign the subpoena for Napoles, so she can finally respond to the allegations against her.

Napoles' lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said her client is willing to tell all, but only before the courts.

Napoles' mansions

Meantime, the Bureau of Internal Revenue said it is also looking into other properties of Janet Lim Napoles.

If one whistleblower is to be believed, the businesswoman owns a lot more than what the BIR included in its tax evasion complaint against Napoles and her husband Jimmy.

One house house in Forbes Park, Makati has been getting a lot of attention lately.

On paper, No. 9 Narra Avenue is owned by La Roca Enterprises, a company previously owned by businesswoman Tess Alba and the Castro family.

It was was sold in 2008 for over P200 million. ABS-CBN News tried to get a statement from Alba but she has not responded.

However, documents obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission show the new owners of La Roca are all connected to Janet Napoles.

These new owners--Annie Uy Tan, Genevieve Uy, and lawyer Anthony Dequina--are all Napoles employees.

Rosita Kawson Co is a close friend of Janet Napoles, and William Lim is Janet's older brother.

Stephen and Flordeliza Luy Tan reside in the same address the Napoles family listed as their own address for many years under JLN Corp.

"Lahat ng stockholders, tao lahat ni Napoles. Ayaw nyang lumabas eh because definitely she cannot explain her wealth so she used people," said Levito Baligod, the lawyer of the whistleblowers.

One house at Forbes Park was not included by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the tax evasion case filed Thursday morning because it was neither under Janet's nor Jimmy Napoles' names.

However, in a sworn statement given by Jimmy Napoles when he sued a former maid for theft in January 2013, he admitted he owns the house on "No. 9 Narra Street, Forbes Park."

The sworn statement also indicated he was residing in Dasmariñas Village.

At the Senate hearing Thursday morning, whistleblower Marina Sula revealed other properties owned by Napoles.

Apart from the house at Forbes, Sula said Napoles also owns houses and lots in Ayala Alabang, Magallanes and AFPOVAI, condominiums in Pacific Plaza, Primea, Eastwood and Eaton, as well as shares in Polo Club, Alabang Country Club, Tagaytay Highlands, and Punta Fuego.

Asked by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano if she could name the different properties of Janet Napoles, Sula said: "Your honor, medyo marami po baka gusto nyo ipakita ko na lang sa inyo."

The BIR assured that it will continue to investigate other properties owned by Napoles.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said government agencies are working to determine who really owns the properties and if they can be recovered in favor of the state. - with ANC