MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently coordinating with its American counterpart regarding the charges against alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and her five family members, who allegedly conspired to illegally transmit Philippine government funds worth USD20 million to the United States.
We have been quietly working together with the US (Department) of Justice regarding the conspiracy to commit money laundering cases. We welcome this development, as it paves the way for the return of the people's money to our national treasury, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a text message sent to Philippine News Agency Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice said Napoles, her children Jo Christine, James Christopher and Jeane, brother Reynald Lim and his wife Ana were indicted for money laundering and conspiracy.
American prosecutors said the money was used to purchase assets in the US, including property and luxury vehicles.
Guevarra, however, stressed that the cases against Napoles in the Philippines would have to be settled first before she can be extradited to the US.
Although we cannot extradite Napoles until her cases in Philippine courts have been terminated, the DOJ will extend all assistance to its US counterpart in prosecuting the money laundering cases, and in ensuring the people's money is returned in due time to our national treasury, he added.
Yes. I think some of them are actually in the US and may get arrested," Guevarra said referring to the relatives of Napoles who are not facing any charges in the Philippines.
Napoles is currently detained at a detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, after a legal intervention of Solicitor General Jose Calida paved the way for her acquittal by the Court of Appeals in May last year.
She spent only two years at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City following a guilty verdict meted out to her by a Makati City judge for the serious illegal detention of her cousin Benhur Luy, the primary whistleblower in the scam.
Napoles has previously filed several petitions before the Supreme Court seeking to stop her indictment in the PDAF cases, but these were all dismissed. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency