Wow, anak ng pork barrel talaga! Or so the expression goes if we are to believe recent revelations and allegations coming from the latest media circus that Janet Lim Napoles is a major ringleader in a scam that skims chunks of pork barrel funds off hapless Philippine congressmen. Where do these golden shavings go? Well, a lot of people have put the microscope (fairly or unfairly) on daughter Jeane Lim Napoles (‘Jeane’ spelt with only one ‘n’, by the way) whose lavish lifestyle in LA LA City, California is plastered all over her Tumblr profile.
I also came across and checked out a Vimeo upload of footage taken from her 21st birthday party before it had been either taken offline or set to ‘private’. Lots of beautiful people, expensive designer threads, and flowing champagne there dahlings. Surprisingly, no sign of Maurice Arcache — or Paris Hilton. But, boy, life’s indeed a beach for some people. So lavish the apparent lifestyle indeed, that it moved former National Press Club official Berteni ‘Toto’ Causing to shed any pretense of being an honourable “journalist” and speak his mind with Pinoy-style class. “This daughter of the “mother f*cker” should know she wears all the money out of the blood of poor Filipinos. Where is the conscience of this girl?” says Causing. Filipino self-styled “journalists” you gotta love ’em. As social media baron George Takei would likely say, Ohh myyyy.
Kids are really something. You think your headaches are over once they’ve reached legal age. In the case of Napoles’s (alleged) Pork Empire, daughter Jeane turned out to be the weakest link in the purported porcine money train. I suppose, being 21, the wonders of social media served as the rocket fuel that boosted her to within radar range of media. Instagram photos, Tumblr and WordPress blogs (the latter set to ‘private’ too), and Vimeos of her birthday bash — they’re just too easy to mine for gold. Holy regret-that-timeline-update Batman! ABS-CBN News reports…
[Janet] Napoles said her daughter’s Porsche was a gift when her daughter graduated magna cum laude.Another Porsche was a gift during her daughter’s birthday, she added.She said they also gave jewelry and expensive watches as gifts during her birthday.Napoles denied that they own the 20 pieces of luggage at a Japan airport, but did not disown luggage that arrived in Manila.She said they only had 5 pieces of luggage and a copier machine.Napoles said it was their right to go shopping because they were earning money from their business ventures.She also denied buying all of the items sold at a high-end bag shop.Napoles insisted that their wealth is the the result of legitimate business.
Interesting, though, that all eyes are focused on the poor little rich daughter of an alleged fraudista half a world away in LA LA Land, when one just need take a leisurely stroll along the airconditioned corridors of Chi Chi Makati. Over there, families window-shopping with entouragesof maids tending to their brood while their chauffers nap in airconditioned SUVs idling in parking lots, are a common sight. Indeed, the Philippines is southeast Asia’s modern Babylon. There’s the story of has-been 1980s band Spandau Ballet being flown in to a hotel in Cebu to play for a debut party. Palatial homes behind enormous stone walls are a familiar tourist attraction within the country’s many fortified gated communities. Politicians regularly flaunt “unexplained wealth” (allegedly, of course) with impunity. Look no further than the James Bond of Mindanao, former Cagayan de Oro Representative Benjo Benaldo and his Brazilian bride, or Senator Lito Lapid’s wife’s run-in with United States Customs over almost USD160,000 in cash she allegedly attempted to smuggle into the country.
Let’s not act too shocked here, folks. These are people ordinary Filipinos elected to office. And even if it is a an alleged syndicate leader that is the centre of this on-going media circus, let’s not forget where the funds come from. Bad timing for the cause of the Philippines’ national heroes and cash cows — the Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW) community. Jeane Lim Napoles is the sister of Jo Christine Napoles who is vying for a House of Representatives seat under the banner of the OFW Family Club (OFWFC) party-list and reportedly counts “helping in the repatriation of distressed OFWs and has extensive work in the party-list’s advocacies” as part of her creds for the job.
[Photos courtesy Across Jeane’s Universe.]