Malacañang on Wednesday assured the public that the government is determined to recover the unexplained wealth or illegally obtained assets of “everybody” involved in the pork barrel scam including businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
The government will continue to pursue the recovery of ill-gotten wealth regardless of who the culprits are, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a news conference.
He was reacting to a statement made by Presidential Commission on Good Government Chairman Andres Bautista that reclaiming stolen money and property from a private individual is more challenging than recovering the loot of a crooked government official.
But Coloma said the government will do its best to recover the stolen public funds.
According to witnesses, Napoles deposited millions of dollars in US banks and has made huge investments in US property.
In the records of key whistleblower Benhur Luy alone, Napoles’ dollar remittances ranged from $30,000 to $100,000 almost every week in 2011.
In April, the Manila Regional Trial Court imposed an asset preservation order against Napoles, her husband and three children as well as against her immediate kin stemming from a forfeiture case filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
The Court of Appeals also ordered the family’s bank accounts frozen in August 2013.
Napoles had denied being the mastermind of the multibillion-peso scam involving lawmakers’ priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, saying she is just an “ordinary businesswoman” who became a “victim” of the system.