MANILA — Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy concluded Thursday his testimony in the graft cases against Sen. Bong Revilla by referring to the legislator as a “kind” person, but with reservations.
“Pinapayagan po kasi kami na magbayad ng installment,” Luy told the Sandiganbayan 1st Division, referring to Revilla's alleged acceptance of kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
(It's because he allows us to pay on an installment basis.)
Luy made the remark after he was prompted by the prosecution to clarify his statement “mabait si Revilla” during a cross-examination with defense lawyers last August.
Other legislators allegedly demanded full payment of kickbacks at all times, said Luy.
While Revilla was acquitted by the anti-graft court of plunder last year, his 16 parallel cases of graft involving the alleged misappropriation of P517 million of his PDAF are still being heard.
Revilla's lawyer Rheody Anthony Balisi asked Luy during his re-cross if the message regarding the alleged installment of payments came from Revilla himself.
“Hindi personally sinabi,” Luy replied.
(It was not said personally.)
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg then asked if Luy received any direct message from Revilla through text.
Luy said he only spoke with Revilla’s former Senate staff, lawyer Richard Cambe, who was found guilty of plunder along with former businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Luy had said in his past testimonies that Napoles dealt directly with Revilla.
“My level is only through Cambe,” Luy said.
The graft hearings of Revilla, Cambe and Napoles will resume on Nov. 7, with officials from the Commission on Audit, the Anti-Money Laundering Council and banks taking the witness stand.
Revilla was released upon his plunder acquittal in December last year following four years of detention. He has since been elected to the Senate even as he faced a graft trial.