• Court to hear forfeit cases vs. Napoles

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    THE Manila Court will start the ball rolling today on the forfeiture trial of the assets of alleged pork barrel scam architect Janet Lim-Napoles and her co-accused into the anomaly.

    Executive Judge Marino de la Cruz of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 22 has set the summary hearing on the asset preservation at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., March 7.

    The judge had issued a freeze order on the assets—a provisional asset preservation order (PAPO) on all the bank accounts and properties of those accused in the pork barrel scam.

    The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has filed the petition before the local court to see to it that the properties are not dissipated but will go back to the coffers of the government.

    De la Cruz has found probable cause that the assets of the Napoles family, Ben Hur Luy, Ruby Tuason, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Zenaida Ducut, former Congressmen Rodolfo Plaza and several others are ill gotten wealth.

    The 20-page order of the Manila RTC stated that the bank accounts of Napoles now show only a meager balance amount, compared with the P10-billion pork barrel scam traced to her.

    The facts and figures in the said order were submitted by the AMLC, which is now covered by the PAPO over all the bank accounts and properties of the pork barrel culprits.

    The Philippine government is pushing for the forfeiture of the assets of the pork barrel fund scam suspects led by Napoles and her family, Luy, Tuason, Ducut and several others.

    Meanwhile, a Makati court on Thursday rejected the plea of Napoles to allow doctors of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to check her condition while being detained at the Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

    Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati City RTC Branch 150 said Napoles’ lawyers should present the PNP doctors before the court because they would need to make the necessary recommendation.

    In yesterday’s hearing, Napoles’ lawyer Fay Isaguirre Singson requested the court to allow Chief Inspector Michelle Daguno, a doctor of Philippine National Police Health Service to check their client at Fort Santo Domingo.

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