AT least 10 government officials, including some senators and congressmen, will be the first to be charged with plunder for their involvement in the misuse of public money, according to lawyer Levito Baligod, who assisted in the preparation and submission of documents coming from Benhur Luy, a former employee of Janet Lim-Napoles.
Baligod expressed confidence that the documents that they will submit to the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be sufficient to incriminate a number of senators, some members of the House of Representatives and former officials of Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).
Baligod met with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday night. He confirmed that they are in the final stretch of preparing plunder charges against some personalities before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Sa lunes tapos na po kami, ready na kaming isubmit (evidences) sa Department of Justice,” he said.
De Lima said she checked the preparations made by Baligod if it’s in line with their schedule.
“I wanted to know the level of the preparations because we have an internal target ng deadline. Tinignan ko kung kumpleto na talaga ang sworn affidavits ng mga whistleblowers,” the Justice chief said.
According to Baligod, “more or less 10 personalities” may be charged with plunder, a non-bailable offense. However, Baligod’s camp is still determining who received P50 million from Napoles’s bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but they are certain that close to 10 will be charged with plunder.
“Ang tinututukan namin ngayon yung plunder cases muna. Yung mga umabot ng P50 million and above, yun ang makakasuhan ng plunder,” the lawyer said.
He said that it is possible that the DOJ will be able to file the charges after the September 11 rally.
More than 2,700 pages of accounting records were examined by Baligod’s camp from 2004 to 2010. According to him, the records will prove that the daily transaction is not less than P10 million on the average.
“Nirereview lahat ng pahina ng accounting record ni Benhur. Sa isang araw ang transaction on the average is about P10 million to P15 million,” he said.
Baligod added that two former GOCC executives who appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee received commissions from Napoles.
“Ang sabi ng ibang executives ay naloko sila ng mg NGOs ni Napoles. Hindi ako naniniwala dun. Ang mas accurate siguro ay kasama sila sa panloloko sa kaban ng bayan,” he said.
Baligod noted that they have documents to support their claim.
“May mga cash vouchers na napirmahan. At si Benhur Luy, hindi nya irerecord ang isang financial transaction kung walang pirma ang cash voucher,” he added.
Meanwhile, Malacanang said that President Benigno Aquino 3rd wants cases filed against all those liable in the unlawful transfer of government money to bogus NGOs in the next three years or within his term.
on Saturday in response to queries if the Palace is worried that
the alleged P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) would deter the gains under the Aquino administration such as continued economic growth and improved competitiveness ranking.
“The President wants the cases filed against those who are liable within his term. This is not a challenge unknown to the
President. He was always saying, let’s uncover the landmines.
We have to appoint competent, trusted and honest people to government offices that serve as part of the checks and balances of government, and it is a challenge we face and accept,” Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said in a radio interview.
All the charges, Valte said, would be based on evidence and will not target political foes.
“Conviction is not within the Executive’s power. It is within the courts. But the resolution that we want is accountability, that we put those liable to task. That is the goal,” she said.
Valte also defended the measures being taken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure Napoles’s safety.
The police installed six Close Circuit Television cameras to monitor the businesswoman who is detained at Fort Santo Domingo in Ste. Rosa, Laguna.
“The PNP is doing this for transparency because a lot of people are interested in the case. The updates [as a result of the CCTV]is also being used by the media. I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving updates on her [Napoles],” Valte said.
The police said that Napoles’s blood pressure slightly shot up on Saturday.
After her regular morning check-up, Napoles had
breakfast—lomi (noodles in thick sauce), hard-egg, fried dried fish (red snapper) and rice. For lunch, she had ‘laing’, fried fish and rice.
During her first night at her bungalow, the businesswoman had an anxiety attack triggered by her “claustrophobia” and her sugar level and blood pressure shot-up.
With a report from Anthony Vargas