Chiz: Benhur Luy a credible witness
MANILA – Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero believes that whistleblower Benhur Luy is a credible witness following his testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam on Thursday.
Escudero lauded Luy for how he carried himself during the Senate inquiry, saying he was “spontaneous” and “consistent.”
“He was spontaneous, he was responsive sa mga tanong, hindi umiiwas maliban sa pagbigay ng mga pangalan and he was consistent in his answers,” the senator told ANC's "Top Story" on Thursday.
However, Escudero noted that the Senate has yet to hear the side of businesswoman Janet Napoles, who is tagged as the mastermind behind the alleged scam.
“Bilang abogado, laging tinuturo sa akin na may dalawang mukha ang storya. There will be always two versions of the same story, we only heard the side of Benhur Luy. I’m sure, hahanap ng paraan para magpaliwanag at mabigay ni Janet Napoles ang kanyang panig, however believable or unbelievable it may be,” said Escudero.
Napoles was invited by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, but Escudero said it will be up to the courts if they will allow her to attend the hearings.
She is currently detained at the Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for illegal serious detention charges filed by Luy.
“She is now in custody and outside of her own personal willingness to attend the Senate inquiry, kailangan payagan din siya ng korte na mag-attend,” he said.
Escudero said he was alarmed by Luy’s testimony that some lawmakers themselves offered their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the office of Napoles.
Luy also said chiefs of staff of senators and congressmen personally got cash from the office of Napoles as part of their cut from the pork barrel scam.
Escudero said it is unlikely that the chiefs of staff acted without consent of their employers.
“Mahirap isipin na independently maga-act ang chief of staff sa kanyang amo,” he said.
In his testimony, Luy also implicated a male senator, nicknamed “Sexy,” who allegedly connived with Napoles in the scam.
During the hearing, Escudero questioned Luy about the identity of the "Sexy" senator.
"Curious lang ako. Sabi mo ‘yung sexy lalaki, paano nangyari ‘yun? Mahilig sa [sexy?]" Escudero asked.
Luy replied that the senator used to be chubby but has since lost weight.
"Kasi po nung una po kasi ano siya, mataba daw tapos biglang pumayat kaya sexy na ang tawag namin," Luy said.
Charges against those involved in the scam are expected to be filed by the National Bureau of Investigation on Monday.