FACEOFF: Luy calm as Napoles leers, sneers, smiles at him in Sandigan hearing
Accused pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles on Friday finally faced the cause of her life imprisonment after being convicted for serious illegal detention.
Benhur Luy, principal whistleblower in the pork scam case, testified against Napoles in her bail hearing at the Sandiganbayan on Friday. Napoles was earlier found guilty by the Makati Regional Trial Court of illegally detaining Luy for three months.
Luy entered a tense court room with Napoles leering at him and sneering. But Napoles still managed to smile at Luy, who is her second cousin from her mother Magdalena Luy.
Sporting a shorter haircut, Luy tried to look casual, avoiding the gaze of his former boss who was looking at him intently.
Wearing a light orange blouse under her darker orange blazer, Napoles noticeably tried to reserve her comments about her former finance officer who blew the lid on the scam.
Luy testified that Napoles owned and controlled the foundations that were used to pilfer lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
Luy also said he personally recorded kickbacks for senators and representatives. He said he was the one who prepared the kickbacks of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, the subject of the plunder case before the anti-graft court’s Third Division.
Luy said he personally witnessed Napoles talking with Enrile’s aide, socialite Ruby Tuason, who has turned provisional state witness.
He said Napoles and lawmakers agreed to a 40- to 50-percent share of kickbacks. Asked why he knows this, Luy said: “Because I prepared the money given to Senator Enrile.”
“There were repeated transactions with Enrile’s PDAF,” he added.
Napoles murmured silent comments but noticeably stayed calm compared to her noisy and sarcastic demeanor in previous hearings.
After the hearing, Napoles tried to address Luy and said “Uy bag ko yan ha!” referring to a bag carried by Luy’s security.
“My favorite color,” Napoles added as she pointed at her orange garb.
Napoles is detained for plunder over the alleged scheme of spending lawmakers’ PDAF to ghost projects for kickbacks. She was also sentenced to life imprisonment for illegally detaining Luy on suspicions of starting his own scam.
After his rescue from detention, Luy turned state witness and trained his guns at Napoles as he exposed the alleged corruption scandal.
The hearings over the scam have resulted in the detention for plunder of the following lawmakers – Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, and former representatives Rizalina Seachon Lanete and Edgar Valdez. AU
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