THE children and brothers of convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles yesterday refused to enter pleas before Sandiganbayan Third Division during their arraignment for 194 criminal cases in connection with the alleged P900-million Malampaya fund scam.
This prompted Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez to enter not guilty pleas for Napoles’ children Jo Christine and James Christopher Napoles and her brothers Reynald and Ronald Francisco.
They are facing 97 counts of graft and 97 counts of malversation of public funds.
Yesterday, the anti-graft division also arraigned bank manager Winnie Villanueva who did not enter any plea like the Napoles’ relatives.
They were accused of diverting P900 million from the Malampaya funds allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2009 and in the process using 12 Janet Lim Napoles-led non-government organizations (NGOs) as conduits of the alleged fraud.