Freeze lawmakers' bank accounts, Kapunan dares DOJ
MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) should also freeze the bank accounts of government officials tagged in the pork barrel scam, Janet Lim-Napoles' lawyer said Monday.
Atty. Lorna Kapunan said senators, congressmen, mayors, and other officials implicated in the P10-billion scam should also be barred access to their accounts.
She said it is unjust that only the accounts of Janet Napoles and her family have been frozen.
A total of 38 people, including 8 current and former lawmakers, have been charged with plunder before the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.
They include Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada.
The Court of Appeals, meanwhile, has issued a freeze order on the financial assets of Napoles and her associates.
The order covers a total of around 415 accounts, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
The court also gave the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) the green light to look into the bank and financial accounts of Napoles, members of her family, staff, and non-government organizations (NGOs) she allegedly formed.
Kapunan said only the Napoleses are having a hard time because of the court order, and the others tagged in the scandal are scot-free.
She also sees nothing wrong with the reported sale of Napoles' properties.
"Bakit hindi? She is justified in selling her assets. She has to live. She is in detention. Her husband has no job. Her kids have to go to school," she said.
"The Constitution guarantees that there can be no confiscation without due process of law. She has no income. It is becoming a problem where to buy grocery," Kapunan added.
Atty. Stephen Cascolan, one of the lawyers of the whistleblowers in the pork barrel scam, earlier said that Napoles is quietly selling her properties. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/10/04/13/napoles-selling-houses-cars
The properties include houses, condo units, and vehicles.
"Bagsak-presyo nila binebenta. Fastbreak dahil natatakot sila na makumpiska ng gobyerno," Cascolan said.
Napoles' former bookkeeper, Marina Sula, earlier revealed that Napoles owns more than 50 houses, lots, and condominium units, as well as more than 30 luxury cars in the Philippines and in the United States.
Her properties are believed to be worth more than P3 billion. However, most are under the names of different people or companies.
Among those supposedly being sold is a 3,500 square meter property in Forbes Park, Makati, which is under La Roca Enterprises.
The Forbes Park property alone is worth P800 million. - with reports from Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News and Henry Atuelan, dzMM