The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division will proceed with the trial of Janet Napoles’ brother, Reynald Lim, for graft and malversation of public funds owing to his alleged role in the P900-million Malampaya fund scam.
In an Oct. 5 resolution, the anti-graft court’s division denied Lim’s motion to dismiss his case.
Lim and Napoles were among the 25 individuals charged with 97 counts each of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents for allegedly diverting the fund releases drawn from the P900-million Malampaya Fund allocated by the Budget Department to several non-government organizations controlled by Napoles in 2009.
Lim said there was no sufficient ground to hold him liable for the alleged illegal actions in light of the fact that he is not a public official. He said he is accused of conspiracy being the brother of Napoles, against him was that he is the brother of Napoles, the alleged pork barrel mastermind.
He said the failure of the pork scam whistleblowers to pinpoint him as one of those who supposedly fabricated documents to justify the release of the P900 million may not be a solid proof charges filed against him are strong.
But the Sandiganbayan said: “Consistent with the avowed policy of the Anti-Graft Law to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which constitute graft and corrupt practices or those which may lead thereto, our Supreme Court has underscored that private persons when acting in conspiracy with public officers may be indicted.”
The anti-graft court also urged Lim to prove his innocence of the charges leveled against him during the full-blown trial of the case.
“The assertion of the accused-movant that there is an absence of proof of conspiracy between him and his co-accused remains a matter of defense and is evidentiary in nature. The truth thereof is thus best passed upon after a full-blown trial on the merits,” the resolution read.