Some Pinoys urge US to cut aid to PH over pork scandal

Posted at 08/27/13 4:48 PM

LOS ANGELES - As thousands of Filipinos marched to denounce the corruption-prone pork barrel system, there were two Filipinos unseen and on the minds of many --
Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald Luy Lim, the alleged masterminds of the billion-peso scheme which involved several lawmakers and the funneling of money into ghost organizations.

An arrest warrant was issued for the two a few weeks ago for the kidnapping of their cousin Benhur Luy, who blew the whistle on their alleged scheme.

"This is a challenge to President Aquino. He has not solved or given justice to the Maguindanao massacre, also he has not hunted down Palparan. What now with Napoles," Art Garcia, US Action against Pork Barrel, said.

"Frankly I don't know think so, she can be anywhere now," said Filipino community leader Roman Mosqueda.

Despite the justice department freezing their assets and revoking passports, many believe that the fugitive siblings,who are well connected and own overseas properties, are still on the run.

Philippine justice officials believe Napoles is still in the Philippines, may be armed, and could have altered her appearance.

Napoles' lawyer believes she is fearing for her life, as some alleged co-conspirators, even among the political ranks, may want her dead.

Filipinos in the US believe it may be time to bring in global law enforcement officials.

"I think we will. We will ask the world to help us. We will ask the world. They cannot escape in another city," Andrea Aquino of US Pinoys for Good Governance said.

US urged to cut aid to PH

With the Philippines reputation at stake amidst the corruption scandal, some are considering calling for the to US cut some ties to the Philippines until this issue is settled.

"Raise complaints with our US Congress members because this economic aid, military aid, that's one way of putting pressure that the government should clean up its act. That's one possible pressure point. The other one is there's been suggestion by other folks to withhold taxes for those that are Filipino citizens in the United States, that's another option if things don't improve, if there's no serious prosecution of those pork barrel criminals in the Philippine congress," Eric Lachica of the Ninoy Aquino Movement said.

The Los Angeles consulate urges Filipinos abroad to remain vigilant and to not give up hope on the Philippines justice system.

"In the last few years, even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached all these things are positive steps already so this should be interpreted eto na ang steps in the right direction we are now addressing these things. We do not deny there is corruption in our country. We are facing these issues," Dan Espiritu, deputy consul general of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles, said.

Since the alleged scandal, other members of the Napoles clan have kept a low profile. Attempted visits to other Napoles' US properties have show no signs of family members.

Sources have said that Napoles' personal staff was seen removing items from Jeane's home at the Ritz Carlton.

Social network accounts of Jeane's friends show that she has been traveling with her friends as recently as earlier this month.