Fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles purchased P184,985 worth of Philippine Airlines tickets and made transactions through her credit card traced to the Discovery Suites in the Ortigas district in Pasig Saturday morning, according to the National Bureau of Investigation… The informant said that based on credit card records Napoles was at the hotel on August 7, 8, and 11, few days before a warrant for her arrest was issued by a Makati City Court… The NBI source said the hunt for Napoles continues and several agents continue to scour areas where she was supposedly sighted. The source said teams of agents have been to Tagaytay, Bulacan and Pangasinan to respond to tips which they had assessed as “reliable.” “We get calls and some of them were pranks calls, but leads that we think credible are being pursued,” the NBI source said.
Professional investigators and even CSI enthusiasts and Le Carre readers will have much to say about the loopholes in this update on Napoles. On the other hand, the DOT can tag the news as another evidence that it really is so much fun in the Philippines!
This country in the past few weeks has been bombarded with information of evil permutations concocted to bypass regulations in the use of public funds as well as these schemers’ megalomania that apparently came from the opium effect of being in possession of 90M Filipinos’ money. Napoles may have “disappeared” but taxpayers are not dissuaded from the real problem: Who were the public officials behind the evil designs? To what extent have they been involved?
The implicated public officials, being the primary recipients of the PDAF and overall managers of its allocation and disbursement, cannot shift the blame to Napoles or the others (although these persons can be separately investigated and convicted). Public officials are primarily liable to the extent that their decisions and actions are the offshoot of their public duties. The PDAF are public funds hence part of their official functions. Anyone who has nothing untoward to hide should be able to give with ease an accounting of the PDAF allocation and disbursement. Citing lack of knowledge as to how and where the PDAF allocated to them were spent is in itself a finding and a strong case against negligence of office. Accounting of funds is a standard procedure, done even by sari-sari stores.
The clamor therefore: Justice for law abiding tax paying citizens. No public official should be above the law. No public official in a democratic republic should believe that he or she can walk away free (or run again for public office) after diverting and using taxes for private enrichment. They have made their beds and now should lie on them. This is the 21st century and thugs of this sort are considered worse than sewer scum. But worse than sewer scum would be those who will stop the legal procedures on these public officials.
If these public officials are having anxiety attacks pending their investigations, well, they should because workers sacrifice a lot and work their assess off to put food on the table (just think of the OFWs who leave their families behind, their children in uncertain circumstances) at the same time contribute a significant portion of their incomes to the running of their government and development of their country; while they whom the people have trusted to protect them have instead allowed individuals like Napoles access to tax money to buy a private million-dollar pad in the US whereas the rest of Filipinos who are working hard are still homeless and landless, or up to their heads paying off their home mortgages? Yes, they should be anxious.