Luy camp warns of public rage vs Napoles as state witness

by Dharel Placido,

Posted at May 16 2014 04:01 PM | Updated as of May 17 2014 12:01 AM

MANILA – The lawyer of key whistleblower Benhur Luy reiterated his client's opposition to the bid of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to become state witness in the pork barrel scam cases.

Atty. Raji Mendoza said granting immunity to Napoles, who is accused of masterminding the multibillion peso anomaly, would further anger Filipinos.

''Now that she has applied for immunity, we feel very strongly na hindi dapat mangayari iyan. Kapag nangyari iyan, nag-succeed na sila sa panggugulo ng kaso. At palagay ko magagalit na ang taumbayan,'' Mendoza told dzMM.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday said Napoles formally asked to become state witness in the pork barrel cases.

Investigators have to assess whether Napoles’ claims can pass muster. “The focus, first things first, is the vetting of the veracity, the truthfulness, the plausibility, the credibility of the story of Mrs. Napoles, and even the credibility of Mrs. Napoles herself," she said.

De Lima said the determination of Napoles’ qualification as a state witness is only second to that. To be a state witness, the person should not be the “most guilty” of all the accused.

She said she is not sure if the Department of Justice can make an appropriate recommendation to the Office of the Ombudsman insofar as Napoles’ request is concerned.

Napoles formalized her bid to turn witness even though the Office of the Ombudsman has indicted her for plunder.

Luy files

Meanwhile, Mendoza maintained that his client cannot vouch for the authenticity of the files given to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The files are supposedly composed of documents that detail the various pork barrel transactions of Napoles.

The files were copied from the hard disk drive that Luy's parents supposedly gave to the major daily.

Mendoza said Luy's camp was aware that the major daily got hold of the files, but he said the whistleblower never authorized its release.

''Benhur has not authorized anyone outside of what is necessary in the protocol to copy or disseminate that information,'' Mendoza said.