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The luxurious two-story Lim-Napoles mausoleum at Heritage Park in Taguig City has become a “tourist spot” after the Inquirer broke the exclusive stories on Janet Lim-Napoles as the alleged mastermind behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam. RAFFY LERMA
MANILA, NOVEMBER 4, 2013 (INQUIRER) Those laid to rest in the upscale memorial park must be turning in their graves.
Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, owns around 280 square meters of “lawn and estate lots” at Heritage Park in progressive Taguig City, according to an insider privy to the sale of the lots.
It was at Heritage Park that Napoles made her voluntary surrender to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Aug. 28.
“The lots were under different names, but it was Ms. Napoles who paid for 200 lawn lots and eight family estate lots,” where the mausoleum now stands, said the source who spoke to the Inquirer on condition of anonymity.
“She bought all the adjacent lots of her mother’s mausoleum because she said she wants space for catering and tents when they celebrate All Souls’ Day as well as the death anniversary and birthday of her mother,” the source said.
The source said the Lim mausoleum is the burial site of Magdalena Luy Lim, the mother of Napoles, who is now detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna province.
“It is complete with amenities and furnishings of a high-end condominium unit,” she said.
The two-story dark grey mausoleum adorned with Halloween trimmings on the ground became a “tourist spot” after the Inquirer broke the exclusive series on Napoles’ illegal transactions using public funds, according to the source.
“Madami nagpapicture (A lot of people are having their pictures taken at the grave site), especially now,” the source said.
The lowest value for a lawn lot based on Heritage Park’s latest price list is P95,000 at 1.2 sq m and a family estate lawn cost around P4.6 million at 4.9 sq m.
“The worth of Napoles’ lots alone could reach around P30 million, but the cost of the construction of the mausoleum we do not know,” she said.
She added that government people who claimed they were with the Commission on Audit had also visited the mausoleum.
Said the source: “For the past four years, at least three times a year, they held a party complete with 24-hour catering and air-conditioned tents.
“Usually, the party preparation began on Oct. 30 and the party lasted three days, until Nov. 1. It was a festive costume party and the kids were given chocolates and candies.
“There were nuns and lots of people arriving and going during the celebration. Plenty of cars.”
Emy, a dirty ice cream vendor who claimed she supplies the ice cream for Napoles every Nov. 1, showed up yesterday at the mausoleum, but was turned away by a man named Marco, because “there was no party today (walang party ngayon)”.
Emy said she saw the developments of Napoles’ case unfold on TV but she took the chance and brought ice cream to the mausoleum but was told that no party guests were coming over.
“Madame Jenny (as Napoles preferred to be called), who was good to us, paid us P6,000 for the ice cream and gave a P1,000 tip,” Emy told the Inquirer.
Another family who had relatives buried near the mausoleum told the Inquirer that they “kind of missed the fanfare, because they even had a stage there once and some concert, plus free food.”
“We did not know who she was. We were told when we asked that the owner was a Chinese businesswoman very close to Erap,” the neighbor said, referring to former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Two men were guarding the mausoleum when Inquirer paid the area a visit.
The Inquirer learned that a Mass was held yesterday morning and Napoles’ husband Jimmy and siblings were there, but left right after the Mass.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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