MANILA, Philippines – Janet “Madame Jenny” Napoles supposedly has so many properties that her former aide offered to just submit a list instead of reading them all out loud.
Whistleblower Marina Sula named the properties of the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind in a Senate probe into the controversy on Thursday, September 26.
Sula confirmed Rappler reports that among the properties of Napoles are a posh condominium unit at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Los Angeles, and the Anaheim Express Inn also in California.
The witness also confirmed another Rappler report that Napoles used La Roca Enterprises Inc to acquire properties.
Sula said she was in charge of the documents of these properties and transferring their ownership. Napoles also supposedly entrusted her with the keys of the condo units she buys.
Sula read the list of the supposed Napoles properties – from those owned by her real estate companies to personal houses and lots. The list is a photocopy of her notebook that she submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
At one point, Sula said, “Your honor, medyo marami po, baka gusto niyo pong ipakita ko sa inyo.” (Your honor, there are many properties, maybe you want me to just show you the list.)
Sen Alan Peter Cayetano though urged her to go on reading the list.
Sula said the following are Napoles properties:
Sula said Napoles also has shares in the Manila Polo Club, Ayala Alabang, Punta Fuego, and Tagaytay Highlands.
Sula was among the whistleblowers Justice Secretary Leila de Lima brought to the Senate to comply with a subpoena of the committee.
Photo collage by Rappler
Condo from ex-Palace consultant
Sula said Napoles bought a condo unit in Rockwell, Makati, offered by Brian Yamsuan, a former consultant to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr and a Palace undersecretary under the Estrada adminstration.
The Palace fired Yamsuan after his links to Napoles were exposed in the media. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Napoles had said that she knows Yamsuan, who helped her facilitate the interview.
Sula said, “Sinabi po sa akin ni Madame Jenny na kaibigan niya si Mr Yamsuan. Nung nagpunta siya sa office, ‘yun ang time inoffer ni Mr Yamsuan ang Rockwell unit. After 3 days, sinabihan niya ako magprepare ng requirements para sa pagtransfer ng ownership.”
(Madame Jenny told me that Mr Yamsuan is her friend. When he went to the office, the offer for the Rockwell unit was made. After 3 days, she told me to prepare documents to transfer the ownership.)
Sula said the property was under the name of Yamsuan’s wife. She said Yamsuan’s wife has only to sign one document to complete the transfer.
De Lima said the government is working to recover the alleged Napoles properties.
“There are ongoing efforts alongside the AMLC and the IAAGCC. It includes asset recovery, not just prosecution,” De Lima said.
The AMLC is the Anti-Money Laundering Council while the IAAGCC is the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council. The IAAGCC, headed by the Ombudsman, is tasked to probe the pork barrel scam.
Money delivered to alleged Enrile, Estrada rep
Sula also said Napoles ordered her to deliver cash to Ruby Tuason, who is among the 38 individuals facing a plunder complaint.
Sula said, “Minsan naghatid po ako ng pera sa isang agent ng lawmaker. Naka-bag ang pera. Si Ms Ruby Tuason po. Sa bahay ko hinatid. Sinabihan ako ni Ms Napoles maghatid ng pera sa bahay ni Ruby Tuason.”
(I delivered money to the agent of a lawmaker. It was in a bag. Ms Napoles told me to deliver the money to the house of Ruby Tuason.)
In its executive summary of the complaint, the National Bureau of Investigation identified Tuason as a representative of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada. The two were also part of the plunder complaint.
‘Faking signatures til midnight’
Sula said she was in charge of Napoles’ payables, and opened bank accounts for her, her children and her corporation. She also withdrew money for Napoles.
The whistleblower said she helped liquidate the projects of the alleged fake Napoles NGOs. Sula said it would take Napoles, her relatives and aides hours to fake the signatures of the beneficiaries.
“Kami po nila Ms Janet, Jo Chris, James Christopher, John Lim pumipirma. Sa sobrang dami, pati driver, kasambahay, at gardener [kasama]. Inaabot kami ng 12 am o 10 pm sa office.”
(We would sign it with Ms Janet, Jo Chris, James Christopher, John Lim. The list was so long we had to ask help from the driver, household help and gardener. It would take us until midnight or 10 pm signing in the office.)
Sula also said Napoles used fake receipts while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was still processing the documents of her fake NGOs.
“Pina-process ng BIR ang resibo kaya nagpapagawa po siya ng pekeng resibo.” (The Bureau of Internal Revenue would still process the receipts so she’d use fake receipts.)
Sula added that when Napoles detained principal whistleblower Benhur Luy and employee Marlina Suñas left the company, she ordered the remaining staff to shred “important documents.”
“That’s when we started shredding original documents: SEC papers, MOA vouchers, all papers connected to the foundations of Merlina Suñas and Benhur Luy,” she said in Filipino.
Laywer and Napoles’ many connections
Sula narrated that Napoles tried to convince her remaining aides not to abandon her when Luy sued her for illegal detention.
“She promised to give us a lawyer. She said, ‘Don’t worry, I will just fix my case then I will help you.’ …. We know she has many connections so we were confident we will succeed in the case,” Sula said in Filipino.
Yet Sula said it was the lawyer who convinced the aides to become whistleblowers instead. The aides met the lawyer the night Napoles surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III in August.
“Cheryl Jimenea introduced us to a lawyer and gave us P20,000 each. Atty Alex Tan asked, ‘Is there a paper trail linking [the scam] to Madame? If there is a paper trail, you will all go to jail.’
“We were shocked. Is this the lawyer Madame is giving us?” – Rappler.com