PDAF whistleblower Benhur Luy admits forging signatures of notaries public

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2023 07:20 PM

PDAF whistleblower Benhur Luy testifies before the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division on June 8, 2023. Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News
PDAF whistleblower Benhur Luy testifies before the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division on June 8, 2023. Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Whistleblower Benhur Luy, who exposed the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam a decade ago, revealed on Thursday that he forged the signatures of at least 3 notaries public before the scandal surfaced in 2013.

Luy shared the revelation while taking the stand at the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division's hearing of the graft cases against former senator and current Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, much to the surprise of the anti-graft court.

He was testifying on how memorandums of agreement were signed to carry out supposed ghost projects of bogus non-government organizations allegedly using Enrile's PDAF.

Luy was being cross-examined by Enrile's lawyer when Associate Justice Ronald Moreno insisted on asking him about forging the signatures of notaries public.

“These lawyers supplied JLN (Janet Lim Napoles Corporation) of their signatures and you do the notarization? In the absence of the lawyers themselves?” Moreno asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Luy replied.

Luy identified the three lawyers only as Atty. Agcaoili, Atty. Talabong, and Atty. Tansic, who supposedly received monthly retainer fees of P15,000 for notarization purposes.

Upon further inquiry from Moreno, Luy also said the notaries public gave their office their dry seals, notarization books, aside from the specimen of their signatures.

But Luy was quick to clarify that while he admitted signing documents himself, he did not voluntarily forged the signatures of the three lawyers.

“I was instructed by Mrs. Napoles,” Luy said.

Luy’s direct testimony was through his voluminous judicial affidavit and he was immediately subjected to cross-examination.

During the cross-examination by Enrile's counsel, Luy was also asked if he saw for himself the former senator signing documents on the PDAF scam.

Luy said he did not personally see Enrile affix his signature to the said documents.

The lawyer of former Enrile chief of staff Gigi Reyes also stressed during his cross-examination that only 6 endorsement letters pertaining to NGOs were signed by Reyes.

Luy is set to resume his testimony Tuesday.

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Watch more News on iWantTFC