DOJ wants theft case vs Luy dropped
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to drop the qualified theft case filed by suspected Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles against her former staff-turned-whistle-blower Benhur Luy.
Prosecutor Mark Roland Estepa filed at RTC Branch 155 last Monday a three-page motion to withdraw information for the people’s case for qualified theft filed against Luy, saying the DOJ had already granted his motion for reconsideration.
Napoles sued Luy, her nephew, claiming that he pocketed P300,000, which she asked him to deposit in her bank account in December 2012. Napoles said the money was never deposited to her account.
The qualified theft case was one of the reasons why Napoles reportedly forced Luy to go on a retreat. This led to Luy’s parents filing a complaint of serious illegal detention against Napoles with the National Bureau of Investigation, which launched a rescue operation.
It was during the hearings at the DOJ for the serious illegal detention case that Luy reportedly exposed the PDAF scam.
In June 2013, the Pasig City prosecutor found probable cause to charge Luy with qualified theft and lodged the criminal complaint before the RTC.
Luy filed a motion for reconsideration but the city prosecutor later inhibited himself. The motion was forwarded to the DOJ. Estepa, who handled the motion, granted it. Prosecutor-General Claro Arellano approved the withdrawal of the case.
In granting Luy’s motion, Estepa said the city prosecutor erred in finding probable cause against Luy.
Napoles claimed Luy was not her employee and only had an “agency relationship” with him. Estepa said estafa, and not qualified theft, should have been the charge filed against Luy.
Estepa, however, said he was not convinced that Luy actually received the amount from Napoles.
The prosecutor noted that Napoles only filed the complaint against Luy for months after it allegedly happened and when Luy had already sued Napoles for serious illegal detention.—Jerome Aning and Nancy C. Carvajal