Napoles hunt continues, some Filipinos support US cutting aid over pork scandal

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

August 27, 2013

LOS ANGELES – As thousands of Filipinos marched to denounce the corruption-prone pork barrel system, there were two Filipinos unseen and on the minds of many–Janet Lim Napoles and her brother Reynald Luy Lim, the alleged masterminds of the billion-peso scheme which involved several lawmakers and the funneling of money into ghost organizations.

An arrest warrant was issued for the two a few weeks ago for the kidnapping of their cousin Benhur Luy, who blew the whistle on their alleged scheme. “This is a challenge to
President Aquino. He has not solved or given justice to the Maguindanao massacre, also he has not hunted down Palparan. What now with Napoles,” Art Garcia, US Action against Pork Barrel, said.
 
Despite the justice department freezing their assets and revoking passports, many believe that the fugitive siblings,who are well connected and own overseas properties, are still on the run.
Philippine justice officials believe Napoles is still in the Philippines, may be armed, and could have altered her appearance. Napoles’ lawyer believes she is fearing for her life, as some alleged co-conspirators, even among the political ranks, may want her dead.

Filipinos in the US believe it may be time to bring in global law enforcement officials. “I think we will. We will ask the world to help us. We will ask the world. They cannot escape in another city,” Andrea Aquino of US Pinoys for Good Governance said.

US urged to cut aid to PH

With the Philippines reputation at stake amidst the corruption scandal, some are considering calling for the to US cut some ties to the Philippines until this issue is settled.

”Raise complaints with our US Congress members because this economic aid, military aid, that’s one way of putting pressure that the government should clean up its act. That’s one possible pressure point. The other one is there’s been suggestion by other folks to withhold taxes for those that are Filipino citizens in the United States, that’s another option if things don’t improve, if there’s no serious prosecution of those pork barrel criminals in the Philippine congress,” Eric Lachica of the Ninoy Aquino Movement said.

The Los Angeles consulate urges Filipinos abroad to remain vigilant and to not give up hope on the Philippines justice system. “In the last few years, even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached all these things are positive steps already so this should be interpreted eto na ang steps in the right direction we are now addressing these things. We do not deny there is corruption in our country. We are facing these issues,” Dan
Espiritu, deputy consul general of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles, said.

Since the alleged scandal, other members of the
Napoles clan have kept a low profile. Attempted visits to other Napoles’ US properties have show no signs of family members.


You may reach Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • jorge buesa
    27 August 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    This is a mess, prosecution of the pork barrels criminals in the philippines, and the Napoles can’t be found? I think they will find more corruption in the philippines government ? Good for all filipinos all over the world to take this criminals out of the government system ! Yes it is time to wake-up and take action !

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