Businesswoman in Philippines surrenders to face corruption charges

Aug. 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM
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MANILA, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A Philippines businesswoman suspected of embezzling millions of dollars in government funds has surrendered, police said.

Janet Lim Napoles turned herself in late Wednesday at the national police headquarters, The Wall Street Journal reported. President Benigno Aquino III, son of former President Corazon Aquino, had offered a $223,000 reward for information that would help authorities arrest her.

Napoles surrendered directly to the president, the report said. He handed her over to police after talking to her for 10 minutes.

Former employees say that Napoles diverted money intended for government discretionary programs to fictitious projects. She denies committing any crime.

The Napoles case has angered many in the country. About 70,000 people joined an anti-corruption protest Monday night in Manila.

Aquino promised Friday to curb discretionary spending.

"Some people worry that it will affect government spending in the short-term, but Mr. Aquino's stand has to be a good thing for the longer-term progress of the country," Luz Lorenzo, an economist at Maybank-Kim Eng Securities in Manila, told the Journal.

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