Whistle-blowers watch Napoles surrender
MANILA, Philippines—Teary-eyed, Benhur Luy walked away and went back to his room under tight guard by security personnel of the Witness Protection Program after briefly watching a TV newscast on Thursday showing the mug shots of Janet Lim-Napoles, his cousin and former employer.
Luy and another whistle-blower, Merlina Suñas, had emerged from a room in one of the offices of the National Bureau of Investigation where they were undergoing questioning in connection with their revelations of the alleged schemes masterminded by Napoles to defraud the government of
P10 billion in lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Luy, wearing denim pants and a sweater, stayed behind a crowd of reporters and agents and quietly watched the newscast that showed a uniformed police official brandishing the mug shots of Napoles. He stared at the TV set and left even before the newscast was over.
Suñas then followed Luy. She also did not say a word.
NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said his agency’s inquiry into the pork barrel scam was proceeding. “The investigation will continue and charges will be filed based on evidence,” he said.
Levito Baligod, lawyer of the whistle-blowers, said his clients welcomed the surrender of Napoles. “We hope that Napoles also will tell all,” Baligod said.
The lawyer added that Napoles could not be a state witness. “She is the most guilty and she is a direct participant in the scam,” Baligod said.
Baligod said his clients were prepared for an anticipated lengthy legal process and were undaunted.
He said the whistle-blowers had the courage to come out and go against their employer in spite of her wealth and connections to high officials. He said now that Napoles was under government custody, they had no reason to be afraid. “They have no doubt they could hold their ground,” he said.