Witness in fertilizer fund scam rescued

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 02 2013 07:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 02 2013 03:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has rescued a witness in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam from the condominium unit in Taguig of a businesswoman implicated in the corruption scandal.

Benhur Luy was rescued last March 22 from the residence of Janet Napoles, who owns the JLN Group of Companies, one of the suppliers of fertilizers to the Department of Agriculture during the Arroyo administration.

Luy’s parents said Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim had illegally detained their son since December last year after he decided to testify in the graft case.

Napoles has eluded arrest, while Lim was taken to a nearby hospital due to chest pains.

Arturo and Gertrudes Luy have accused Napoles and Lim of kidnapping their son on Dec. 19, 2012.

They were allowed to see and visit him twice, they added.

On the second visit their son “surreptitiously handed his hand-written note indicating that he is being detained against his will,” read the complaint.

According to his parents, Luy said he knew how employees of JLN Group forged signatures of “fictitious individuals” in organizing non-government organizations Kaupdanan Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Social Foundation, People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Pangkabuhayan Foundation and Masaganang Ani Foundation.

He had decided to testify in the fertilizer fund and Malampaya cases, they added.

The DOJ has summoned Napoles and Lim to a preliminary investigation on April 15 on charges of serious illegal detention.

The Luys sought the assistance of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in rescuing their son.