Luy accused of fabricating pork charges to evade theft case
MANILA, Philippines–Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy was accused of fabricating allegations in the pork barrel scam as a way to get off the hook in a qualified theft case.
During Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s bail hearing at the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday, Atty. Michael Ancheta said Luy executed his pork scam affidavits on September 2013, or months after an order of arrest was issued against him on July 2013 in connection with a qualified theft case.
Luy accused alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles of detaining him on suspicions that he was planning his own scam.
Luy, who was rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in March that year, then filed a serious illegal detention case against Napoles. In retribution, Napoles filed a qualified theft case accusing Luy of stealing money from her.
When Ancheta raised his qualified theft case before the Regional Trial Court Pasig, Luy said the case had been dismissed.
Ancheta, who represents Revilla’s co-accused Richard Cambe, asked Luy if he fabricated the affidavits as a condition for his case to be dismissed and become a state witness.
“Is it one of the conditions of becoming a qualified state witness?” Ancheta asked Luy in his cross examination.
Luy retorted: “Hindi po. Basta nagsasabi ako na totoo sa lahat ng nangyayari (No, sir. I am telling true accounts of what happened).”
Ancheta maintained that Luy was coached to fabricate allegations because he is under the custody of the NBI.
“This is no ordinary witness. He is under the government’s custody in the Witness Protection Program. He was coached and he fabricated stories,” Ancheta said.
“Suddenly, after the order of arrest was issued he made a series of sworn statements pointing to many people including Cambe. All of this while he is under NBI custody,” he added.
After the hearing, Ancheta said they raised Luy’s theft case because it also tackled the alleged pork scam.
Ancheta said he raised Luy’s qualified theft case because he “was just concerned about the timeline.”
“The order of arrest was issued July 2013. At that time, he has not executed affidavits. After that he named Cambe and other people,” Ancheta said.
Luy used to serve as Napoles’ employee before they had a falling out.
Napoles is detained for plunder and graft over the scam. Also implicated and detained are Revilla and Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada. A supposedly frail Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, is in the hospital under police custody pending his motion for hospital detention.
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