By: Denison Rey Dalupang, Marlon Ramos, August 19th, 2013 05:20 AM
MANILA, Philippines—With her money and connections, fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles should be safely tucked in a hideaway. But not from netizens—the 37th tracker team, if you may call them that—who are also hunting her down online.
“If you [were] Janet Napoles, [where] will you hide?” user @jacquemanabat asked.
“Sa [unintelligible],” replied @akibarrios, one of the myriad of Filipino netizens who have joined the virtual hunt for Napoles on social media sites, referring to the transcription of many of her answers at a roundtable interview conducted by Inquirer editors, columnists and reporters when she dropped by the newspaper’s editorial offices in Makati City on Aug. 8.
The Makati City Regional Trial Court last week ordered the arrest of Napoles, the alleged brains of the P10-billion pork barrel racket, and her brother Reynald Lim in connection with the illegal detention of their cousin Benhur Luy, the principal whistle-blower in the fund scam.
The National Bureau of Investigation has sent 17 tracker teams to at least 28 homes and condominium units of Napoles in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon to find and arrest her and and her brother.
The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has joined the manhunt for Napoles and Lim.
Director Francisco Uyami, CIDG chief, said Sunday that two teams composed of 11 operatives from the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame would join 17 tracker teams from regional offices to find and arrest Napoles and Lim.
Uyami said he immediately deployed the teams shortly after the CIDG received copies of the arrest warrant on Thursday.
The CIDG also alerted its network of intelligence agents and informants nationwide to track down Napoles and Lim, he said.
“We are calling on the public to help us find Napoles and Lim. If you have any information about their location, please notify the nearest police station or CIDG office,” Uyami told the Inquirer.
“Hay nako, hanapin niyo talaga si Napoles ha! Wag niyong sabihing mas magaling pa siya magtago kay Osama bin Laden?” tweeted @superstarmarian, a Twitter parody account of actress Marian Rivera.
The Twitter user also attached #ZeroDarkPorky in reference to the Oscar thriller focused on the late al-Qaida leader.
“May bagong itatayo na NGO si Napoles: Ninja Development Foundation,” added Internet personality Ramon Bautista.
“I think the government should allow Napoles et. al to leave the country but only through SOMALIA!” commented Facebook user Jerome Bringas.
The Department of Foreign Affairs canceled the passports of Napoles and Lim on the night of Aug. 16 at the request of the Department of Justice.
On the night of Aug. 14, soon after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima announced the issuance of the arrest warrant for Napoles and her brother, netizens reacted by launching their own virtual manhunt using the hashtag #NasaanKaNapoles.
Netizen @juleng_ tweeted a line from a pop song. “You leave me hanging on the line / Every time you change your mind (Jenny-The Click Five) #PorkBarrelScam #NasaanKaNapoles.”
“The @JanetLimNapoles wer na u? D2 na mi! #NasaanSiNapoles,” user @themarialotus tweeted.
“BREAKING: Napoles seen cruising toward her home at the Sea of Monsters #findingNapoles paging Percy Jackson,” user @edongis tweeted.
“IKAW sino ang hahanapin mo? Si Napoles, si Nemo, o si Crispin at Basilio?” posted @francismagsaio.
Nemo is a Hollywood movie about a juvenile clown fish who got lost in the vast ocean, while altar boys Crispin and Basilio were the sons of Sisa who lost her mind in “Noli Mi Tangere,” a novel by Jose Rizal about the social cancer that was Spanish colonialism.
Once arrested, Uyami said the businesswoman and her brother would be immediately brought to the CIDG office at Camp Crame in Quezon City for proper documentation.