Pork barrel scam whistleblowers still fear for their lives

From a report by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2013 07:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 08 2013 04:57 AM

MANILA – For more than 5 months now, the 6 original whistleblowers in the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam have been in hiding.

They transfer from place to place nearly thrice a week to avoid being detected.

But even though alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is already detained, the whistleblowers still fear for their lives.

“Maraming mga pulitiko na pilit na gustong magka-access sa mga whistleblowers na ito para makausap. Ang isang logical lang diyan ay kapag hindi nila mapakiusapan, ay maaaring maghanap sila ng ibang pamamaraan,” said Levito Baligod, the lawyer of the whistleblowers.

Last month, intelligence sources had revealed there is a P25 million “hit contract” for the whistleblowers, Baligod and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Hired killers are also allegedly targeting some journalists who exposed the controversy.

De Lima now wants all whistleblowers in the scam to be placed under the Witness Protection Program.

“With the Department of Justice Secretary na mariin niyang nirekomenda na lahat ng whistleblowers ay sumailalim na sa Witness Protection Program. Hindi lamang sa kampo ni Ginang Napoles manggagaling ang threat, it could come from the camps of other politicians,” said Baligod.

Despite the risks, the whistleblowers said they will continue their fight until all those who stole taxpayers' money are punished.