The Leaderboard: Janet Lim-Napoles

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is she?

Janet Lim-Napoles is the president, CEO, and founder of JLN Corporation, a diversified Philippine company with interests in real estate development, hotels, restaurants, information technology, and agriculture. Established in 2009, the company has grown significantly in the past few years, with total assets reaching about $2 million in 2012.

Why is she in the news?

Napoles is the alleged mastermind behind a scam involving the misuse of millions of dollars of government money from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), more popularly referred to as the “pork barrel” fund. “Pork barrel” funds are made available to Philippine legislators for use on local infrastructure projects. According to a July 12 exposé by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Napoles helped lawmakers pilfer PDAF money through ghost projects, including the creation of 20 fake nongovernmental organizations.

The allegations against Janet Lim-Napoles sparked a public backlash against pork barrel funds in the Philippines. Napoles spent weeks as a fugitive before turning herself in to authorities. Source: Mad Saiyantist’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

Napoles was the target of a weeks-long manhunt before surrendering herself to President Benigno Aquino, who turned her over to the Philippine National Police on August 28.

What can we expect from her?

Napoles continues to deny the charges against her. Ongoing investigations have implicated numerous lawmakers in the scam, including senior politicians like Senators Ramon Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vincente Sotto III, and Loren Legarda—all of whom allegedly allocated portions of their funds to Napoles’s ghost projects. According to whistleblowers, government officials involved in the scam received kickbacks of up to 65 percent of the allocated costs of these ghost projects.

President Aquino on August 23 announced his intent to abolish the controversial PDAF following public outcry. His decision to do away with the pork barrel fund sends a message that he is able to deliver on his promises of fighting corruption in the Philippine political system. Expect the Aquino administration to continue to investigate the Napoles’s scam and prosecute lawmakers found to be involved.


6 comments for “The Leaderboard: Janet Lim-Napoles

  1. jarhead22
    September 17, 2013 at 00:41

    Well, I hope Napoles gets what she deserves in all of this…

  2. jordan levi
    September 17, 2013 at 00:49

    Well its official, only three senators are included in the report, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., Sen. Jinggoy Estrada

  3. Genius23
    September 17, 2013 at 00:51

    I can’t believe napoles is still denying with all the evidence stacked against her. so sad that she continues to stay on the same stand…

  4. korvin
    September 17, 2013 at 00:53

    I do hope we abolish the pork. its never really did good to the country overall.

  5. porsh22
    September 17, 2013 at 00:55

    I hope we get positive change after the pork scam has settled. it would be bad to see no change after it.

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