MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday filed before the Office of the Ombudsman charges of plunder and malversation of public funds against businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles as well as senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and five former representatives.
The NBI and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima filed the plunder and malversation charges at around 3:45 p.m.
De Lima said that the complaints were based on "truckload" of evidence on the P10-billion pork barrel scam gathered by the bureau from 16 whistleblowers and concerned agencies.
De Lima said plunder charges were filed against the three senators and former Masbate representative Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and former APEC party-list representative Edgar Valdez
Based on the executive summary of the complaints, the three senators and two former representatives' accumulated amount of plunder were:
"The amount of plunder accumulated by each lawmaker representing the kickbacks received from Napoles, so itong limang pong ito puro more than P50 million," De Lima said at a press conference following the filing of the complaints.
Charges of malversation of public funds, direct bribery and other violations of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were filed against former representatives Rodolfo Plaza (Agusan del Sur Rep), Samuel Dangwa (Benguet) and Constantino Jaraula (Cagayan de Oro City).
De Lima said that the three former lawmakers' accumulated amount of plunder were below the P50 million threshold for the filing of plunder.
"Since yung amount of commission, kickbacks and rebates (from Napoles) are less than P50 million for these three lawmakers, hindi namin mailagay as plunder," De Lima explained.
Napoles, meanwhile, was named in the complaint as among the co-conspirators in the plunder and malversation charges against the three senators and the five former representatives. She was listed as thr 38th respondent.
De Lima said that a total of 38 people, including Napoles and the lawmakers, were named as respondents in the plunder and malversation charges.
The three senators' and five former representatives' chiefs of staff and their representatives were also charged with plunder, direct bribery and malversation charges. These include Enrile's former chief of staff Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, who fled the country for Macau last week.
Five former executives of government-owned corporations similarly face charges, namely Alan Javellana of National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR); Gondalina Amata of the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC); Antonio Ortiz and Dennis Cunanan of Technology Resource Center (TRC); and Salvador Salacop of Zamboanga del Norte Rubber Estate Corporation.
Five NABCOR employees, three NLDC staff members and two TRC officials are also named as co-conspirators.
The voluminous evidentiary documents were delivered by two closed vans escorted by the PNP Highway Patrol Group to the Ombudsman's office in Quezon City.
De Lima led the team of investigators and lawyers in filing the complaint. The 10 whistle-blowers in the scam including Benhur Luy also filed their sworn affidavits.
"This is only the first batch of respondents," De Lima explained in a press conference, adding that other people involved in the scam will also be charged next week.
Private complainant Levito Baligod, counsel for the whistle-blowers, said that the 38 names arose from testimonies of whistleblowers as well as other evidence gathered over the past months.
"Ang ginagawa lang ng NBI ay Napoles-related NGOs," De Lima said, explaining why other questionable NGOs do not figure in the complaints.