Only P7M left of P47M frozen Napoles’ funds

MANILA, June 18 (PNA) — A bonding company with alleged connections to Janet Lim Napoles has managed to withdraw more than P40 million of the P46.995 million frozen funds.

Napoles is the alleged “brains” behind the P10-billion pork barrel and the P900-million Malampaya Fund scams.

She is currently detained in Fort Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna for the case of serious illegal detention filed against her by Benhur Luy, the prime whistleblower in the pork barrel and Malampaya Fund scams.

During the hearing at the Manila City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Wednesday, a representative from the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) confirmed in open court that what is left of the funds is about P7 million.

The Manila RTC earlier issued a provisional asset preservation order (PAPO) against the assets of First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Company (First Integrated) for allegedly being one of the companies owned by Napoles.

The assets of First Integrated were frozen by the Court of Appeals (CA).

Both the UCPB and the representative from First Integrated told the RTC that the transactions were made following a confirmation from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that the freeze order issued by the CA has been lifted.

The CA initially issued a freeze order last February 16 which was extended and expired last May 26.

The AMLC’s action, including First Integrated as among the respondents in the forfeiture proceedings, was filed last June 5.

“The bank has to submit documents regarding the transactions. We are waiting for supplemental compliance from UCPB regarding this…It is not yet confirmed that it was the respondent that made the withdrawals,” Associate Solicitor General Isar Pepito said.

Pepito added that what the bank mentioned were “transactions”.

“If the transactions were made during the effectivity of the freeze order, the transactions should not have been allowed,” he said.

In its comment/opposition, First Integrated asked the RTC to dismiss the petition of the AMLC to permanently freeze their assets and include them in the forfeiture proceedings.

First Integrated told the RTC that it is a legitimate corporation established in 1965.

Its current paid up capital is P250 million “which has been painstakingly built up and accumulated by its stockholders…”

It said that Napoles only owns a mere 7.33 percent of the shares of First Integrated.

It added that “there is utterly no showing that any of the other shareholders of respondent First Integrated are in anyway linked [to] plunder, malversation and violation of the Anti-Graft Law in connection with the pork barrel scam or money laundering.” (PNA)