Luy testifies in Napoles illegal detention case

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


PORK barrel scam main whistleblower Benhur Luy has finally testified in hearing of the serious illegal detention case he filed at a Makati court against the scam's alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

The hearing finally pushed through on Tuesday after Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court branch 150 blocked an attempt by Napoles' camp to defer the hearing.

Trial was postponed three times since May.

In his testimony, Luy said Napoles, on December 20, 2012, forged his signatures to transfer his money worth P800,000 from his Metrobank Julia Vargas branch account to the businesswoman's bank account.

At that time, Luy said he was already being detained illegally by Napoles in her house at 52 Lapu-Lapu Street in Magallanes Village.

Luy said Napoles even ordered the closing of his $13,761 worth of dollar account with Metrobank on December 27, 2012.

Luy said he discovered the transfer of his bank accounts and the withdrawals shortly after the National Bureau of Investigation rescued him on March 22, 2013.

Aside from his funds, Napoles also allegedly controlled other Luy's physical possessions such as those inside his condominium unit at the One Lafayette in Eastwood City in Quezon City.

Luy said Napoles padlocked the unit and deprived him of accessing his condominium even his personal belongings inside worth around P1 million.

However, Luy admitted that Napoles owned the unit and that she lent it to him on July 2009. He is the one paying the association dues as well as water and electricity bills.

Luy added he was threatened by Napoles' brother, Reynald Lim, who told him that he can only talk to Monsignor Josefino Ramirez or else something bad would happen to his family.

Luy will return to the witness stand on July 1 at 10 a.m. where he will answer questions from defense while another hearing was set on July 8 at 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, the defense panel brought confusion to the court after both lawyers of Napoles, Stephen David and Bruce Rivera, claimed that they were appointed as her counsel for the serious illegal detention case.

David was handling the plunder case filed against Napoles related to the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers while Rivera serves as spokesperson for the alleged pork barrel queen.

Rivera informed the court that Napoles called him Monday evening and asked him to handle the serious illegal detention case.

Napoles legal counsel initially asked the court to postpone the hearing for they need to clear things with their client but Judge Alameda refused, saying he does not want proceedings to be controlled by any party.

Alameda said Luy's testimony has been postponed for three times already on May 26, June 2 and 9 following requests by the defense. (Sunnex)

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