Lawyers nix Napoles plea to get Luy travel records

Posted at 08/13/2014 11:11 PM

MANILA - Prosecutors opposed Wednesday the request of lawyers of Janet Lim Napoles to get travel records and documents of properties of whistle-blowers Benhur Luy and two others.

In a comment filed before the Sandiganbayan 5th division, the prosecution said the request of the Napoles camp is "irrelevant" and "unnecessary" since the whistle-blowers, including Luy, Marina Sula and Merlina Sunas, are not the accused in the case.

The prosecution also said the request might violate the bank secrecy law, using the same argument that the whistle-blowers are not accused of any wrongdoing and are not the subject matter of the case.

The prosecution also emphasized that the three are witnesses and should be afforded basic rights as provided for by the Rules of the Court.

Napoles' counsel Atty. Stephen David earlier told the media he wants to question in court the validity of Luy's claim that he had been present during the supposed meetings of lawyer Richard Cambe and Janet Lim Napoles from 2006 to 2010.

It was during this period that Cambe allegedly collected his and Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.'s share of their kickbacks from the pork barrel.

David said he has information that Luy was frequently traveling out of the country during the same period.

Napoles' lawyers also requested the court to subpoena 26 additional bank documents under the names of Luy, his parents Arthur and Gertrudes Luy, and other whistleblowers Merlina Sunas and Marina Sula.

This is in addition to the 30 other bank documents that the defense already requested earlier.

The Napoles camp also clarified in their motion that what they were asking were bank account transactions, consisting of bank deposits, withdrawals, and requests for fund transfers, covering the period from the time they were opened until the time that they were closed.