Napoles as state witness unacceptable: Benhur camp


Posted at May 22 2014 10:44 AM | Updated as of May 22 2014 09:18 PM

MANILA - The camp of pork scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy reiterated Thursday that granting immunity to alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles will not be acceptable to the public.

Lawyer Raji Mendoza said Luy and the other whistle-blowers do not see how Napoles can be accepted as a state witness when she is the architect of the pork scam.

"She is the architect and operator and corruptor of public officials. It's possible that there are other principals but she is also a principal. We cannot exchange one horse for another. If there is anyone who must be convicted for this, she must be the first," he said.

Mendoza said he cannot imagine how the other whistle-blowers would work with Napoles when they have already implicated the latter in the scam.

"Maraming magagalit. Hindi katanggap-tanggap sa aming panig. Hindi papayag ang taumbayan," he said.

A Philippine Star report earlier quoted Napoles' lawyer, Bruce Rivera, saying that his client wants no less than immunity from criminal suit. He confirmed that his client wants to become state witness in cases involving not only the pork barrel scam but also the Malampaya Fund anomaly.

No less than President Aquino has expressed reservations on the qualification of Napoles as state witness.

Meanwhile, Mendoza dismissed claims made by whistle-blower Sandra Cam that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and other justice officials were given P150 million in bribes to drop the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy against Napoles.

He said that while the accusation is serious, it is something that should not be believed outright.

He also pointed out that his client's working relationship with de Lima has been smooth, and that the case against Napoles is still being prosecuted.