Napoles' group tried to get Congress seat thrice
MANILA - Janet Lim Napoles and her camp weren't just linked to dubious dealings with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.
Documents show they actually tried to get a seat in Congress thrice.
In 2003, the Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa Ikauunlad ng Ekonomiya was formed as a group with Janet's husband Jaime, brother Ronald Lim, Eduardo Ma. Ramirez Santos , Emmanuel Cunanan, and Matias Ranillo among its incorporators.
In 2004, the group ran unsuccessfully in the party-list electiions despite being tagged as a potential beneficiary of electoral fraud in the "Hello Garci" scandal.
In 2006, Ramon Fernandez was designated as corporate secretary. In 2007, he was replaced by Genevieve Uy.
Uy has been described by whistleblower Benhur Luy as a close aide of Napoles.
In 2007, the group ran again, this time rebranded as "A-SMILE", ostensibly to get a more prominent listing in the alphabetized list of party-list candidates.
It had Ronald Lim as second nominee and Jaime Napoles as 4th nominee, while its 3rd nominee was former Cotabato Rep. Anthony Dequina, who described himself as a father figure to Janet Napoles.
The certificate of nomination showed the party-list group also nominated Eduardo Ma. Ramirez Santos, and Manuel Recto Jarmin.
The group lost in 2007 and had no record of running in 2010.
Had it won the maximum 3 seats for a party-list gorup, Jaime Napoles would have only sat if one of the top 3 nominees resigned or were ousted.
Dequina was congressman for Cotabato from the 9th to 11th Congress.
He again ran for Cotabato congressman in the 2013 elections but lost.
A-SMILE was beneficiary of some P200,000 in campaign contributions in the 2007 elections from Benhur Luy.
Another campaign donor is Manuel Limchiu, who gave P100,000 and Annie Tan, who gave P50,000.
In 2010, it was delisted from the official list of party-list groups by the Comelec for losing in 2 consecutive elections.
In 2013, Napoles' daughter Jo Christine was the substitute 3rd nominee of winning party list group OFW Family Club.
Christine was named as subtitute nominee after the group's original 3rd, 4th and 5th nominees all resigned.
OFW Family club won 2 seats, which went to Roy Seneres and Johnny Revilla -- the latter now the subject of an electoral protest.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said if Revilla loses the protest, Napoles could sit in his place.
However, before the 16th Congress began and just about the same time the pork barrel scam scandal broke out, Jo Christine Napoles backed out of contention.
In the 2013 elections, Brillantes said, "Nakita namin (si) Napoles pero 'di contribution, substitute nominee sa OFW Family Club. "
Brillantes said the Comelec's probe doesn't cover the sources of the funds, which means the poll body doesn't check if the funds came from pork barrel.
There is no record of any Napoles donating to OFW Family Club.
Meantime, a certain "Mr. and Mrs. Napoles" were listed as campaign donors of defeated Pasig congressional candidate, Esmeraldo Batacan, in the 2007 elections.
Based on Comelec records, the Napoles couple donated streamers, stickers and vehicle use all worth P40,000.
Brillantes said declarations in the statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs) may not be correct and donors may use a dummy.
However, those who do that may risk an election offense as SOCEs are supposed to be truthful.
The poll chief said their research on Napoles covers only major positions in 2013.
Local positions are still being checked.