Open whistle-blowers' bank accounts: Napoles

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 04 2014 08:27 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2014 04:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Janet Lim-Napoles is asking the Sandiganbayan to order the opening of the bank accounts of whistle-blowers Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, Marina Sula, and Gertrudes Luy.

Commenting on the prosecution’s motion to quash the subpoenas issued to officials of five different banks, Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David said the records must be scrutinized “in the interest of justice” and to uncover “the real truth” behind the pork barrel anomaly.

Napoles was able to secure directives from the Sandiganbayan First Division for officials of BDO Unibank Inc., Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, United Coconut Planters Bank, and Landbank of the Philippines to appear before the anti-graft court.

However, government prosecutors and Luy’s counsel moved to block the subpoena of the bank records to confront the whistle-blowers when they testify against Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. in his bail hearing.

Prosecutors asked the Sandiganbayan to quash the subpoenas on grounds that the whistle-blowers are not on trial.

However, David told the court the funds linked to the pork barrel scam must be examined to uncover the truth.

“No one should be spared, not even Benhur Luy, Gertrudes Luy, Merlina Suñas and Marina Sula, who are the presidents of the NGOs involved in the scam,” he said.

“To reiterate, there is an absolute necessity to look into the bank accounts of the persons mentioned in the subpoena duces tecum in order to have a full appreciation of the alleged misappropriation of the PDAF of the legislators.”

David said the prosecution and the counsels of Luy and the other whistle-blowers have not shown that the issuance of the subpoenas is unreasonable, oppressive or irrelevant to the case.

“The Filipino people are entitled to know the truth,” he said.

“It was Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, Marina Sula, and Gertrudes Luy themselves who transacted with the NGOs as presidents thereof.”

Revilla is facing trial for plunder and graft for allegedly giving his pork barrel funds to fake NGOs linked to Napoles.