US jury's indictment of Napoles boosts cases in Sandiganbayan - Palace
Malacanang welcomed on Thursday the indictment of detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and some other members of her family by the United States federal grand jury, saying it is a positive development, as it bolsters the government’s cases against her before the Sandiganbayan.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said with the help of the US, the Philippine government could recover the multi-billion peso money that Napoles and her co-defendants have allegedly amassed.
"The charge of money laundering against Mrs. Napoles and her co-defendants shows that there is reason to believe that they attempted to retain the ill-gotten gains from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. With the help of U.S. authorities, who have been in continuous coordination with our government, the funds that Mrs. Napoles and her co-defendants attempted to hide away will soon be returned for the benefit of the Filipino people," he said.
With this development, Roque said that those who allegedly benefited also in the pork barrel scam, but have not been charged, should also face charges.
"As more of Mrs. Napoles’ schemes come to light, it becomes imperative to charge all those who illegally profited from her transactions, regardless of their position or political affiliation," he said.
The Duterte administration has believed that politicians who were allies of the Aquino administration were spared from the charges.
Napoles as well as the three former senators and other fomer and current lawmakers were charged during the previous administration for allegedly pocketing their pork barrel funds.
The US authorities have been going after Napoles and some of her family members for allegedly laundering some $20 million in public funds. Celerina Monte/DMS