MANILA - Alleged "pork barrel" scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and her family have all sought the dismissal of their graft and malversation cases involving the misuse of P900 million from the Malampaya funds.
Napoles, her children Christoper and Jo Christine, and brother Ronald Franciso Lim, have all filed a motion to quash the charges filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman had accused Napoles and her relatives of conspiring with former Budget chief Rolando Andaya Jr., and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman of illegal disbursement of Malampaya funds meant for relief and rehabilitation in the aftermath of tropical storm "Ondoy" and typhoon "Pepeng" in 2009.
Napoles and the other private individuals included in the case supposedly forged signatures and fabricated documents for ghost projects.
In her motion to quash, Janet Napoles said the allegations in the graft case do not constitute an offense. Foremost among their reasons is that she and her kin are private individuals.
Napoles had the same argument for her malversation case. She said a private individual cannot commit the crime of malversation since this act can only be done by a public officer.
In their consolidated opposition to the motions filed by the Napoles family, the prosecution reiterated that there was a conspiracy between the private individuals and public officials involved.
“Clearly, the allegation of conspiracy in the instant cases, and the acts averred to support such allegation, satisfies the standard of law and jurisprudence on the matter and accused-movants should not be allowed to assail the indictment against them by raising evidentiary issues that can be properly and fully threshed out during trial,” the Office of the Special Prosecutor led by Deputy Special Prosecutor Omar Sagadal said.
The motions of the Napoles family are already submitted for resolution.
Accused Pangandaman, Andaya, and the Napoles children are scheduled to be arraigned on April 13.