Benhur, et al to testify at Bong's bail hearing

Posted at 07/10/14 2:59 PM

MANILA - The prosecution panel plans to present pork barrel scam whistleblowers as witnesses in the bail hearing of Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., Janet Lim Napoles, and Atty. Richard Cambe.

In a manifestation submitted Thursday to the Sandiganbayan First Division, the prosecution said they included in their list of witnesses Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, and Marina Sula.

Prosecutor Jefferson Toribio said they plan to present the whistleblowers by next week.

Also included in their list of witnesses is Commission on Audit (COA) Assistant Commissioner Susan Garcia; Carmencita Delantar, Lorenzo Drapete and Orlando Madarang of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); members of the Field Investigating Team of the Office of the Ombudsman; representatives of Metrobank and Landbank; representatives of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, and the Records Custodian of the Blue Ribbon Committee.

The prosecution on Thursday morning presented Garcia as its first witness.

Garcia was the former director of the Special Audits Office and head of the team that prepared the Special Audit of lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which included the pork barrel allocations of Revilla.

During the hearing, prosecutors asked Garcia to identify 12 special release allotment orders (SAROs) amounting to over P500 million supposedly released by the office of Revilla from 2007 to 2009.

These allotment orders were included in the special audit report.

The defense panel earlier questioned the presentation of Garcia as witness, saying that she was not part of the team that made the audit but merely supervised and approved the report, meaning she had no first-hand knowledge on the plunder charge.