Open bank accounts, pork ‘players’ dared

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A group of lawmakers on Wednesday challenged Cabinet members and lawmakers implicated by Janet Lim Napoles in the pork barrel to reveal their bank accounts.

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The House Minority bloc made the call a day after President Benigno Aquino 3rd belittled the expanded affidavit submitted by Napoles to the Department of Justice on Monday. The affidavit named 20 former and incumbent senators, 100 congressmen, several Cabinet members and other players in the anomaly involving the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Among them were Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva.

“It would be simpler if they just open their bank accounts [to scrutiny]. That would be setting a good example because with the bank accounts disclosed, you would have the necessary documentary evidence if Napoles really transferred a certain amount of millions to lawmakers and Cabinet members,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said in a news conference.

“If the bank documents show that the fund transfer really happened, that evidence will be sufficient to convict,” Colmenares, a lawyer, added.


Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela party-list backed Colmenares, saying the opening of bank accounts is tantamount to a lifestyle check.

Human rights groups call for the jailing of plunderers in government during a rally in front of the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame on Wednesday. The rallyists also called for the release of all political prisoners and the resumption of peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Human rights groups call for the jailing of plunderers in government during a rally in front of the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame on Wednesday. The rallyists also called for the release of all political prisoners and the resumption of peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

“The lifestyle check should not be limited to those people sitting on the opposite side of the fence. If you are sincere with your advocacy of anti-corruption, you will let justice take its course,” Ilagan added.

Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list chided Aquino for taking up the cudgels for some members of his Cabinet.

“If these people were any other government employee, they would have been already slapped with preventive suspension. These are serious allegations. Besides, the President should not be the one clearing people,” Tinio said.

“The President should withhold his judgment. Why is he too quick in casting doubt on the list just because his allies have been mentioned? The President is already undermining the case of the government with his pronouncements,” Colmenares said.

Just talk
But Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said the officials Napoles implicated should not worry over the allegations.

“We are still in the publicity stage. It is our bad luck that we are politicians and so we are affected by trial by publicity. But a typical person should not worry about trial by publicity because there is still a need to produce further evidence and back up all these allegations,” Belmonte told reporters.

“We cannot just take Mrs. Napoles’ word. Everything at this stage is just talk. Let’s wait for further evidence,” he said.

Belmonte issued the statement after opposition lawmakers Ferdinand Romualdez, Jonathan dela Cruz and Joselito Atienza demanded the resignation of the three Cabinet members linked by Napoles.

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said government officials in the “Napolist” need not resign.

“All those officials from both the executive and the legislative who were mentioned in the affidavits of Janet Napoles are presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” Barzaga noted.

“If we are to treat the Napoles affidavits as gospel truth, then the sauce for the gander will also be the sauce for the goose. Napoles would then make all government officials hostage to her allegations. Certainly, the demands of public interest cannot countenance such anomalous situation,” he said.

Alcala also appealed to his critics to carefully study Napoles’ affidavits before jumping to conclusions.

In a statement coursed through DA spokesman and Undersecretary Emerson Palad, Alcala said the affidavits will reveal that the DA did not deviate from the implementation of PDAF-funded projects.

The DA chief had repeatedly denied knowing Napoles or “conniving with her or any of her agents and non-government organizations.”

“I am sure that I never dealt with her, even during my incumbency as a congressman,” Alcala said.

With James Konstantin Galvez

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17 Comments

  1. It is a very tall order for all this corrupt politicians to bring out their bank accounts.
    I am pretty sure most of them has been depositing off shore accounts for so many years during there time of service in the government. Remember that they can always
    gets out of the country with connections. The Money Laundering in PH has failed as we have seen for ourselves the Euro Generals, The Wife of Sen. Lapid and Controller Gen. Garcia and others. If Juan De La Cruz get caught right away he is put to jail. Its a double standard of Justice we have in our country. The Powerful will always
    gets out but the Poor and no connection who can’t afford a powerful lawyer in no time sentence to jail right away on a long period of time. Just look at Jolosjos who rape the small girl labas ito kay Little Girl na dapat nabitay na noon.

    ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES !!!!!

  2. The Generals and the Big Honchos of the NBI should have a secret meeting to stage a coup d’etat. The next process is to round and send all the suspected politicians and government employees involved in graft and corruptions to prison . A special court shall be set up immediately to hear cases and examine all the evidences and testimonies . Release those who are innocent. and untainted.They should put all the honest and smart politicians to run the government and scout all the talents and technocrats with no regard to any political affiliations.Create a Blue Print and a Marshall Plan for the next decade with the advisement of the Philippines’ richest and successful families who are in business ( no political dynasties).and we should not hesitate to ask the help of other countries.

    • This would really make sense if the NBI is beyond corruption. But, there were allegations of corruption too in that department. The people have no one to turn to because everybody’s hands are tainted somehow. It is just a matter of who did worst and who did worse, or the lesser of 2 evils. I would say the people should topple everyone and replace them with people who will have no absolute power, the public should be in control with representatives from all sectors of society. the barangay level should be on the watch by people (like a junta) who have been proven trustworthy and whose lifestyle is beyond doubt. once the officials deviate towards the corrupt side, the junta will have the power to fire them and an election held just within a few days so that no campaigning will occur. That way, money will have no power on the votes.

  3. bobby Ulili on

    Open their bank accounts so we’d know the whole story – just like they did to Corona.
    It’s their turn now, lying thieves

  4. If they really are serious in finding the truth we have to give the National Bureau of Investigation the authority and power to resolve these cases. They are the experts in the field..If the truckloads of evidence that has been gathered and submitted to the office of the ombudsman were not sufficient enough to start prosecutions, we know that our justice and court system
    is sick, politicized, and corrupt .We should import the FBI and the Mossad to assist the NBI in all these investigations. All this senate and committee hearings are just publicity and political stunts and these hocus pocus and will not amount to anything .Life style checks, paper trail, money trail,subpoenaed bank accounts, foreign investments,Swiss, Bahamas, Hong Kong and other secret accounts,investments and business deals using relatives and other dummies. should all be included in any investigation Proper audit and checks on the delivery systems and recipients accountability should be the strict protocol on all our funding system on projects or other government expense..The people power should start their demonstrations and demand for the Sandigan Bayan to start the prosecutions.In the Philippines,it seems like everything is pulled under the rugs unless the people will demonstrate in the streets and demand for action. Would a coup d’etat the solution to this National Pathology?

  5. sino naman ang magdedeposit ng kinurakot nila dito? syempre sa abroad dinala mga yun

  6. be focused, we don’t have to implicate everybody in “Nafoolish” mess, just stick to Behur’s testimony or expose, the rest will come….

  7. “Open your bank accounts!” As comedian Pugo of yore would say “that’s a lot of nonsense!” The most you can expect from such posturings is a sympathetic nod from people saying “Oo nga naman” but seriously even Colmenares and others like him don’t expect anything from this except perhaps a pat in back after getting on the headlines with a welling up in your guts that says you are getting closer still to becoming senatorial material. I am sorry but I have lost all sympathy for all polititians party list or otherwise.

  8. Ive just read other responses & its great to see people are getting angry with government but its still not enough. You need an uprising & put all these people in jail whilst being investigated. I know its harsh but it needs doing. By far the majority if not all politicians are corrupt. Has manny pacquiao a man a lot of people trust mentioned anything about this. I doubt it as he wants to get a good career in politics & it doesnt help to rock the boat. You want fearless people to stand up to these rich & powerful people, not people who will shirk away & end up just like them. It reminds me a little of george orwells animal farm. If you havent read it read it & understand the message behind it.

  9. I didnt realise that money had been transferred to their accounts, i thought they were always paid in cash. Well if she transferred money to their accounts the law allows those accounts to be looked at. Thats very simple to me but in this country its made so difficult. Also can you all now see why those senators kept the bank secrecy law, it wasnt because by removing it would undermine the banks credibility it was kept to hide their ill gotten money. Thats what it was put there in the first place. If the ban secrecy law was so special why wasnt it implemented for all, even those of us normal people with peso accounts. It doesnt seem people ask these very simple but important questions. The rich & powerful who have the chance to hide millions are given that chance but if the small person wants to hide a little is not allowed to, remember corona with the woman who was a governemt worker who didnt declare her little market stall on her saln & she was sacked & lost her pension & all benefits & banned from working in government works for ever. Its double standards here in the philippines between the rich & the poor. People in this country go into politics to get rich. How is imelda marcos worth almost P1,000,000,000, tell me what businesses did she have, her husband was president but that wouldnt give you tht much money. Please tell me if am wrong on this & if so i stand corrected.

  10. Just like I said before these thieves will never open their bank accounts.

  11. Andres R. Samson on

    A great move and a great thing to say in the halls of the Senate for media mileage. What about those who have opened and created tax shields and juridical entities both locally and in known tax havens? There are many poor law abiding Juans who pay more taxes than the Senators and Congressmen as their cost of living and extravagant life styles are borne by the tax shields they created.

  12. to start with, SALN’s of all elected & government officials implicated in the scam should be reviewed & their bank accounts as well, to once and for all clear doubts. I’m sure some people ( or a lot of people) in government ( elected or employed – specially elected) are living beyond their legal means & “filthy” rich. How on earth could anyone not understand the math ( if we have the SALN’s from the start, then we see the original moneys, add the salary then verify all properties / assets. If assets are WAY MORE than the earnings & original assets, then there is something wrong).

  13. Not so many people trust the government. Unless the administration will appoint an independent body to oversee the investigation of graft and corruption involving congressmen and senators, the outcome of such, will always be suspect. People will always suspect that administration allies have been shielded. Even if this is not the case.

    Graft and corruption has been an endemic problems in the Philippines for so many decades now. I think it is time that the government do something about it. In the U.S, they always have the FBI doing sting operation against government officials they suspected of engaging in graft. But, I still have to hear one conducted by the NBI against anybody in the Philippine Congress. No wonder these people are so brazen in committing graft with impunity. They don’t have to worry anything. Seemingly, they believed they are above the law. No wonder they would not pass a law that has a deterrent effect on graft and corruption.

    • yes this is true, the governemtn is like a Mafia, the group members try to cover each other & whoever is not a member of the group gets the axe. it’s really very sad to see that only the small time employee’s who committs slight misdemeanor are being tried, & politician do it just for publicity. but for the “big” time cases ( even with voluminous evidence / even get caught red handed – it will take years to hear /prosecute them,& because these people have so much money to spend, i think what they do is split the “loot” / share it with or offer an irresistible amount to whoever are handling these cases, until it dies down & people gets frustrated as they can not do anything, then gets disinterested. But for this scam, all Filipino people should rally & help each other to clear this & bring as much attention to the world community no matter how shameful it is for our country if not only to “save” it from a few corrupt officials. With the total amount of moneys that goes to corruption – our country / countrymen would be in a much much better situation – may i just say ” i hope your conscience will eat you up” ( but do you still have ?????)

  14. Real estate properties, personal properties and other in-kind properties cannot be found in their bank accounts! Scrutiny of their lifestyles, SALNs as against their current assets will help. How about their ‘other’ properties in the name of their friends, relatives and dummies? Opening their bank accounts is simply “palusot”!

  15. Open all bank accounts starting with PNoy, Marred Roxas, Paquito Ochoa, Drilon, ABad, Alcala, Ducut, Rochelle Ravago Ahorro, etc. to set an example.

    Walk the talk and show the evidence yourselves.