Janet Lim-Napoles|Head of Pork Barrel Funds Scam
The Pork Barrel fund scam makes it way to the headline news when whistle-blowers revealed the person behind a controversial scheme that has been in place for nearly a decade.
ABS-CBN news reported that a businesswoman who goes by the name of Janet Lim-Napoles allegedly used her employees, including drivers and nannies, to illegally receive pork barrel funds from various legislators using a dummy foundation called JLN Corporation. Atty. Levito Baligod said that Janet Napoles used fake foundations in channeling Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) or popularly known as “PORK BARREL FUNDS” directly into her pockets.
In an interview, Atty. Baligod said employees such as Gertrudes Luy, nanny of Napoles’ children; Jesus Castillo; Napoles’ driver; Lorna Ramirez, wife of Napoles’ former driver; and Vanessa Eman, Napoles’ former maid, were made presidents of various dummy foundations. Some of the fake non-government organization officials were JLN employees. Atty. Baligod said sometimes, an employee signed the withdrawal slip for the dummy foundation, usually agriculture in nature which was supposed to help farmer-beneficiaries. The money would allegedly then be remitted to Napoles.
The whistle-blowers alleged Napoles managed to run the illegal scheme for a long time since she has been working closely with several lawmakers who agreed to release funds in exchange for a cut. Apart from the pork barrel funds scam, the whistle-blowers also revealed that the controversial fertilizer and Malampaya funds were also tapped by the JLN Group of Companies.
“Halimbawa doon sa Malampaya funds, walang kamalay-malay ang mga mayors dahil ipinirma lang nila ang mga mayors. Sila na rin po ang gumawa ng isang letter request na parang nagpapakita na galing sa mayor pero walang alam ang mayor doon,” Baligod said.
“Sa kaso ng PDAF, alam nila dahil yung ibang pondo ay dumederecho sa munisipyo. Hindi mababayaran ang foundation kundi alam ng mayor iyan kaya nakiki-coordinate din sila sa mayors,” he added.
A report released in parts by the Philippine Daily Inquirer said, about P10 billion in funds had been pocketed by Napoles over the last 10 years. The alleged pork barrel scam is now the subject of a probe by the National Bureau of Investigation.
This political scandal in our country is no longer new to us. We’ve been facing financial crisis though we have an adequate national budget. This case involves billions of pesos which is enough to upgrade our economy. Is there something that we can do to make them stop doing these anomalies?