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Napoles denies scam even when confronted with own signature

Janet Lim Napoles, wearing a bullet proof vest, listens as her lawyer Howard Areza whispers to her while Napoles attended a public inquiry at the Senate in Manila November 7, 2013. Napoles, the wife of a former Marine major, has been accused by the Department of Justice of setting up fake non-government organisations that since 2007 received lawmakers’ pork barrel funds and then routed the money back to them.

Janet Lim Napoles, wearing a bullet proof vest, listens as her lawyer Howard Areza whispers to her while Napoles attended a public inquiry at the Senate in Manila November 7, 2013. Napoles, the wife of a former Marine major, has been accused by the Department of Justice of setting up fake non-government organisations that since 2007 received lawmakers’ pork barrel funds and then routed the money back to them. (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Nov 7 (Mabuhay) – Janet Lim-Napoles denied any transactions that were paid for from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers even when shown a document that bore what appeared to be her own signature.

Napoles was grilled by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano when the Senate Blue Ribbon committee resumed its hearing after a lunch break that she sought because she was not feeling well on account of her diabetes.

When asked by Cayetano whether she had any transactions that involved PDAF, Napoles replied: “Wala” (none).

When Cayetano presented a certification signed by Napoles’ lawyer, Bruce Rivera, that funds received by her firm, Jo-Chris Trading, for the purchase of fertilizer came from lawmakers’ PDAF that had been transferred to the Department of Agriculture, Napoles claimed she could not recall this.

Even when Cayetano showed another document, this time with Napoles’ signature, on the purchase of 3,108 bottles of liquid fertilizer, which was also signed by her former employee Marina Sulas, the businesswoman denied it was her signature.

When Cayetano asked Napoles if she is rich, she replied, “No, tama lang sa buhay (I only have enough in life).”

But when asked about her net worth, she declined to answer saying this was the subject of cases filed against her by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

When Cayetano asked her who paid for her mother’s mausoleum, reported to cost P30 million, she claimed she and her sibling chipped in and that the cost was “less than P10 million.”

However, Napoles declined to tell Cayetano what businesses her siblings are engaged in, invoking their right to privacy, including her brother Reynald Lim, her co-accused in serious illegal detention charges filed by their relative and now government star witness Benhur Luy.

When Cayetano asked Napoles the worth of her condominiums, she invoked her right against self-incrimination saying her properties were the subject of the BIR’s tax evasion cases. (MNS)

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