Luy admits learning a lot from Napoles but…
MANILA, Philippines – Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy learned quite a lot while he was under the employ of Janet Lim-Napoles – and this is why he wanted to start his own business dealing with government.
But he assured that the skills he learned from Napoles would not be similar to the scheme involving the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds that were allegedly funneled to bogus foundations and ghost projects for kickbacks.
During the bail hearing of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., Luy was asked by the senator’s lawyer, Joel Bodegon, if he wanted to start his own business.
Reports that Luy wanted to emulate Napoles’ business proficiency floated when he was detained by the businesswoman on suspicion that he was starting his own racket.
The National Bureau of Investigation rescued Luy in March 2013, after which Luy blew the lid off the scam and tagged lawmakers and government officials as taking part in the scheme.
A defensive Luy said he wanted to run a business dealing with the government but with the intent of uplifting the welfare of his beneficiaries.
“Not of the same scheme. Makipag-deal sa gobyerno pero para sa mga beneficiaries (I wanted to deal with government but for the benefit of the recipients),” Luy said.
“But if Napoles can do it, then you can do it also,” Bodegon replied.
“Hindi. Iba yung akin (No, my business will be different),” Luy retorted.
Bodegon then asked Luy why he didn’t expose the scam much earlier.
Luy said he was afraid of a retaliation from Napoles, although he said she had not threatened his life even while he was detained.
Luy is Napoles’ entrusted finance officer who turned against his former boss after he was detained on suspicion of starting his own scam.
Napoles faces 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.
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.