De Lima: No pull-out of pork whistle-blowers

Posted at 05/02/2014 3:09 PM | Updated as of 05/03/2014 1:16 AM

MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima denied Friday a report that whistle-blowers in the pork barrel cases intend to withdraw from the witness protection program.

De Lima met with the whistle-blowers, including Benhur Luy, at the Department of Justice Friday and told reporters that the
whistle-blowers expressed willingness to be part of process in vetting the information that would be given by Janet Napoles.

De Lima also explained to the whistle-blowers the "circumstances" of her meeting with Napoles.

The justice chief described the meeting as "friendly."

"Very friendly. Everybody is smiling. Everybody is relaxed. Syempre in-explain ko lang sa kanila ‘yung circumstances surrounding 'yung pakikiusap ko kay Mrs. Napoles then I assured them na dadaan pa nga sa vetting process 'yung mga nakukuha naming mga impormasyon from Mrs. Napoles and that sila nga ang mga una naming tatanungin as part of the vetting process," de Lima said.

"So wala talagang katotohanan ang lumabas sa isang dyaryo na may tangkang umalis sila sa WPP dahil kung anu-ano, kung anu-ano. Malaking kasinungalingan ‘yan. May mga nag-iintriga lang. So walang problema, you can ask them yourselves."

“Sila ang unang-unang gagamitin namin, kakausapin namin when we start vetting or validating ‘yung mga impormasyon na mga galing kay Mrs. Napoles at very willing sila na ganoon nga. Ganoon nga ang magiging proseso.”

A lawyers of the whistle-blowers also denied that his clients are withdrawing from the WPP, saying that they continue to support the DOJ investigation.

"Wala namang ganoong napag-uusapan…Full support ang mga witnesses. Nag-manifest lang kami sa mga continuing investigation,” lawyer Stephen Cascolan told reporters.

“Full support sila sa continuing efforts ng Department of Justice to continue the investigation kung saan man mapunta. ‘Yun lang rin po ang sinabi namin from our end.”