Napoles lawyer on Benhur’s list: Is he psychic?

Bea Cupin
Napoles lawyer on Benhur’s list: Is he psychic?
Napoles' lawyer questions the timing of release and the veracity of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy's list of legislators implicated in the scam

MANILA, Philippines – He wasn’t present in all of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles’ dubious dealings with government officials, so how could whistleblower Benhur Luy come up with a complete list of guilty government officials?

“Maybe he’s psychic,” quipped Napoles’ counsel Bruce Rivera on Wednesday, May 14, after a hearing on Napoles’ motion to extend her hospital stay.

“To be honest, he was not there in the beginning. So if there were transactions in the beginning, how would he have known? He was already whistleblower for the longest time, so hindi ko alam kung bakit ngayon lang lumabas. Ngayon lang niya ba nakuha iyan? Saan niya nakuha?” Rivera added.

(I don’t know why he’s coming out with the list only now. When did he get it? Where did he get it?)

The past few days have been a blur of different lists in the ongoing saga of the pork barrel scam. During a late-night meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Napoles expressed her desire to “tell all.”

Napoles handed over the so-called “Napoles list” as part of an affidavit executed before National Bureau of Investigation lawyers. Rivera said Napoles also signed a supplemental affidavit to support her earlier statement.

De Lima has refused to give details or release the list, saying the vetting process is not yet done. At least two lists of legislators implicated in the scam have been made public: former Senator Panfilo Lacson’s “partial” list and Luy’s version of the list, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Sandra Cam, a former whistleblower during the Arroyo regime, said she also has a list from an “unimpeachable source.” Another list was said to be shown to President Benigno Aquino III before he accepted her surrender in August 2013, but her counsel Bruce Rivera said there was only one list – the one given to De Lima last April 21. (READ: The Napoles list must not be a hit list)

Luy, meanwhile, said Napoles’ version of the list “only serves to muddle up legitimate issues.”We do not know kung sinasabi niya ba ang buong katotohanan, bawas na katotohanan, nadagdagang katotohanan, o pawang kasinungalingan,” Luy said in a May 13 statement.

(We do not know if what she’s saying is the whole truth, half-truth, embellished truth, or a plain lie.)

Napoles’ camp is adamant that their version of the list is the truth. Rivera added that lists being reported on by the media are different from the one they submitted to De Lima.

Kaya minsan natatakot kami kasi bakit kami may extra na kalaban, eh wala naman ang tao na yan sa list,” Rivera told reporters. (There are names that shouldn’t be there in the list. We’re worried because we have more enemies now, even if they aren’t being implicated.)

Although reacting to media reports on different lists, Rivera admitted he doesn’t read newspapers reports “too much.” “I don’t want to be stressed out by the misinformation given,” he added.

Despite the confusion caused by different versions of the list, Rivera said they would not be making Napoles’ list public ahead of De Lima. (READ: De Lima warns vs mayhem over ‘Napolist’ disclosure)

“We do not want to try by publicity people. We want that when we come out of the list, we can substantiate with evidence. We are responsible individuals. If we wanted to ruin reputations, we’d just come out with the list and allow media to prey on it, and destroy reputations of other people,” he added.

Napoles is currently at the Ospital ng Makati after she underwent a hysterectomy to remove a mass in her uterus. Prior to her transfer to the hospital in March, Napoles was detained at the Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for allegedly detaining Luy from December 2012 to March 2013.

Luy is a relative of Napoles and used to be her aide, before he turned against her. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.