Luy didn’t see Bong Revilla receive kickbacks
MANILA, Philippines—Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy admitted before the Sandiganbayan on Thursday that he did not personally see Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. receive kickbacks from his pork barrel fund projects.
During Revilla’s bail hearing for his plunder case over the pork barrel scam, Luy said his financial ledgers only contained his transactions with Revilla’s legislative aide Richard Cambe, who is also accused of plunder.
Luy brought to the court print-outs of the ledgers, which were shown to the court using a projector.
Luy said Cambe visited Napoles’ office more than 20 times to receive the kickbacks on behalf of Revilla.
Luy and Napoles gave Cambe his and Revilla’s kickbacks, which the whistleblower said amounted to two percent and 50 percent of the pork barrel fund, respectively.
Though Luy was sometimes not present, most of the time he was there as witness when Napoles gave Cambe the money, Luy said.
Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada asked Luy if he noted on his financial ledgers the instances when it was Napoles who personally handed the kickbacks to Revilla.
“Is there nothing [on] your ledger that shows Napoles gave money to Revilla?” Ponferrada asked.
Luy said he does not record this on his ledgers.
He said it was Napoles who would tell him that she had already paid Revilla his kickbacks.
“Sinasabi lang sa akin ni Madame (Napoles) na nakapagbigay na siya (Napoles will be the one to tell me if she has already paid the kickback),” Luy said.
“But I don’t record it (on my ledger). I only record kapag may voucher (if there’s a voucher),” he added.
Luy also said Napoles would sometimes call up Revilla to check whether Cambe already gave his share.
Luy’s testimony may not be an eye-witness account pinning Revilla to the scam, but it corroborates Napoles’ sworn affidavit that she personally visited Revilla in his house to hand in bags of kickbacks.
Napoles had also said she called up Revilla over the phone about his commissions.
Luy’s testimony that he is not an eyewitness on Revilla’s kickbacks is crucial for the bail hearing which would prove whether or not the evidence against Revilla is strong.
Luy’s eyewitness accounts are also necessary to pin down Revilla as guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.