Mrs. Piggy : a "SWILLDER"?
SWILL: Labis sa pagkain na patapón; kaning-baboy
Manila, Philippines --- Being implicated in an anomalous transaction is not new to businesswoman Janet “Jenny” Lim Napoles.
Once charged with graft and malversation of public funds for alleged participation in fraudulent contracts with the military for the supply of Kevlar helmets, Napoles is now embroiled in the P10-billion pork barrel scam which is now the object of investigation and media frenzy.
Sandiganbayan records show that 12 years ago, government prosecutors indicted Napoles and her husband, retired major Jaime G. Napoles for graft and malversation of public funds for that alleged fraudulent military supply contracts.
However, both got off relatively unscathed with Maj. Napoles being dropped as defendant long before the cases went to trial and his wife Janet, who was accused as the person behind seven “dummy suppliers,” eventually acquitted.
Then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto issued an order dated March 18, 2002 dismissing the case against Maj. Napoles “for lack of probable cause”.
But Mrs. Napoles stood trial on both charges but was cleared of any liability on October 28, 2010 for lack of evidence.
Their cases involved alleged bid rigging for the supply of 500 units of US-made Kevlar helmets with a total contract price of P3,864,044.99 awarded to seven suppliers in 1998.
Prosecutors said the contracts were divided into amounts lower than the P300,000 threshold to evade a second review.
Named co-accused were former Philippine Marine officers Lt. Gen. Edgardo Espinosa; Colonels Natalio Torreno, Inocencio Artajos, Arnold Blanco and Sergio Eria; Majors Luciardo Obena, Godofredo Tabila and Edmund Yurong, and civilian personnel Iluminada Flores.
Named private defendants were traders Evelyn de Leon, Anna Marie Dulguime, Reynaldo L. Francisco, Magdalena L. Francisco, Mia Legacion, and Prescilla Somosot.
After seven years of trial, the court convicted Tabila, Yurong, Blanco, Flores, De Leon, Dulguime, Reynaldo and Magdalena Francisco, Legacion and Somosot and sentenced them to four to eight years imprisonment with P5,000 fines each.
Findings of a Board of Officers Inquiry ordered by the Philippine Navy was submitted in court showing that 14 checks were released in payment for the helmets but they were deposited and cleared in only one account – Security Bank Account No. 512-000-2200.
In a memorandum dated April 23, 2010, suppliers Evelyn de Leon, Anna Marie Dulguime, Reynaldo Francisco, Magdalena Francisco and Mia Legacion admitted that their checks went to the bank account of Jenny Napoles but they said there was nothing irregular about the “check rediscounting” arrangement as they were reportedly given cash instead.