THE lawyer of Janet Lim-Napoles on Tuesday challenged the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to also freeze the bank accounts of all lawmakers linked to the alleged pork barrel scam.
Lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Napoles’ counsel, said the bank deposits of congressmen and senators named in the Commission on Audit (COA) report should also be scrutinized by the AMLC.
Kapunan pointed out that the same COA report was used by the council as justification to freeze her client’s bank accounts.
“That same COA report also names senators and congressmen. They are specifically named. Why don’t you freeze all their accounts?” she said in a television interview.
She said the bank accounts of the children and staff of these lawmakers should also be scrutinized.
Kapunan earlier complained that Napoles’ children have no more money to buy food because their accounts were also frozen.
She likewise dared the AMLC to also scrutinize and freeze the bank accounts of 82 non-governmental organizations which were also named in the COA report.
“Their only basis can be the COA report. I will remind everybody that the COA report had 82 NGOs. I challenge the AMLC freeze all the accounts of the 82 NGOs,” she said.
Kapunan made the statement as the Court of Appeals (CA) identified the magistrates who will handle the petition of Napoles’s brother questioning the arrest warrants issued by the Makati regional trial court.
The case was raffled to the CA’s Seventh Division. The magistrate who shall write the decision will be Associate Justice Noel Tijam, chairman of the division.
Aside from Tijam, the other justices who will handle the case of Lim are Romeo Barza and Ramon Cruz.
Reynald Lim asked the appellate court to declare that there is no probable cause against him for the crime of serious illegal detention and to quash the arrest warrant issued against him and his sister Janet by Judge Elmo Alameda.
Despite Reynald’s petition, the Philippine National Police (PNP) formed several tracker teams as it intensified manhunt operations for Janet’s brother.
The siblings were accused of detaining Benhur Luy, Napoles’s former aide who disclosed the businesswoman’s illegal schemes.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said that the PNP has sent out more tracker teams to look for Lim.
“The arrest of Lim has become the top priority for the tracker teams following the successful transfer of Napoles to Fort Santo Domingo,” Roxas told reporters.
A P5 million reward was offered by the President for anyone who can provide information that would lead to Reynald’s capture.
WITH REPORTS FROM JOMAR CANLAS AND ANTHONY VARGAS