MANILA, Philippines – Whistleblower Benhur Luy refused to name names in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the pork barrel scam, but he admitted to having visited the Senate in the past to pick up documents from a senator’s office.
Luy, the former personal assistant of alleged syndicate Janet Lim-Napoles, said he came in sometime in 2011 and 2012 and went to the office of a male senator, nicknamed “Sexy.” He said this senator used to be heavier, but has lost weight — hence the nickname.
In past reports, whistleblowers have said “Sexy” was the nickname used for Sen Jinggoy Estrada.
Estrada has denied participation in any irregularity and has refrained from participating in the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon probe.
At the same time, Luy emphasized that Napoles is the mastermind of the entire pork barrel diversion scheme.
“She controls everything,” Luy said, who testified he started living with Napoles and her family in 2002, often hearing Napoles’ phone conversations with lawmakers.
READ: INFOGRAPHIC: Pork barrel trail – how gov’t funds end with Napoles
READ: Luy: Senators’ aides fetched cash from JLN
Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers to channel their Priority Development and Assistance Funds (PDAF) or pork barrel to her non-government organizations (NGOs) and pocketing the money, by offering congressmen and senators hefty kickbacks.
Luy revealed the process involved in the scam — including the exchange of documents between Napoles and lawmakers — to explain how the money ultimately ended up with Napoles.
He also clarified that aside from lawmakers, who got 50% of the funds allotted to Napoles’ NGO ghost projects, 40% went to Napoles while 10% went to an official of the implementing agency that approved the release of the PDAF.
Another 1%-2% went to the Chief of Staff of lawmakers if they were involved.
“The whole project is a ghost project,” he said.
Luy also said that when he started working for Napoles, he was surprised to see his second cousin living in Ayala Alabang Village and owning a fleet of expensive cars.
“I wondered, ‘What is her business?'” he said. “Before then, I didn’t know about anything, I’d even go with her son to sell ballpens. We (the family) were close.”
He estimated Napoles made her money in the late 90s or early 2000, adding the house she used to live in around the late 80s in Biñan, Laguna was small.
Luy said Napoles was generous in giving gifts to his contacts “from all branches of government,” adding that Napoles knew Cabinet secretaries, members of the judiciary, the Commission on Audit, implementing agencies and others from the Office of the Ombudsman.
She was however not as generous in the salaries she gave of her employees, with Luy saying he was only paid P45,000 a month.
While Luy said he was close to the Napoles family, he was adamant in his response when asked what he thought about making Napoles a state witness.
“No,” Luy replied when asked if Napoles should be state witness.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, who was asked the same question, said it was a “possibility,” but that at the moment, it was “not even being discussed.”
She reiterated she hopes to file the initial plunder cases against lawmakers by Monday, September 16, but said she will only do so if the evidence is strong and complete. – Rappler.com
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