Bong denies asking NBI to 'go easy' on Napoles

by Kathlyn dela Cruz,

Posted at Apr 09 2014 04:58 PM | Updated as of Apr 10 2014 12:59 AM

MANILA -- Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. branded as "fictitious" the claim of lawyer Levito Baligod that he had asked a high-ranking official of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to "go easy" on Janet Lim Napoles.

"Absolutely not true. Napakadali gumawa ng istorya at chismis," said Revilla, who is one of the three senators indicted by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.

"I do not know what Atty. Baligod's personal grudge is against me, and I do not understand his motives in concocting fictitious stories to ruin my name," he said.

Baligod, a private complainant in the pork barrel scam case, told ANC's "Prime Time" Tuesday evening that an informant was present when Revilla and former NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda allegedly held a meeting in Makati Shangri-la.

"We know that Senator Revilla called up a high-ranking NBI official telling that official to go easy on Napoles," Baligod said.

He also claimed that Esmeralda served as a "protector" of Napoles, who is the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.

Revilla, however, said the accusations of Baligod are baseless and that the lawyer only wants to "be in the limelight."

"Hindi na dapat paniwalaan ang taong ito na dinispatya ng kanyang kliyente at ngayon ay nag-aabogado sa ilang mga taong kanya mismong inakusahan. These facts speak for themselves on the character of this person," he said.

Baligod was the former lawyer of Benhur Luy, the key whistleblower in the pork barrel scam case.

"It seems he is doing anything and everything to be in the limelight and gain publicity," Revilla said.

Esmeralda, for his part, earlier denied having any links to Napoles.

Esmeralda and fellow deputy director Ruel Lasala were sacked last month for allegedly leaking information on the arrest of Napoles in connection with the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy against her.