Whistle-blowers answer Napoles' perjury raps
MANILA (UPDATE) – "Pork barrel" scam whistle-blowers on Wednesday went to the Manila Prosecutor's Office to attend the preliminary investigation on the perjury charges filed by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Clad in bulletproof vest and escorted by security personnel provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Benhur Luy arrived at the Manila Prosecutor's Office before 10 a.m.
Luy's mother, Gertrudes; Luy's sister, Annabelle; and Merlina Suñas, a former employee of Napoles-owned JLN Corp. also attended today's preliminary investigation.
Luy's father Arturo, and brother Arthur, meanwhile, failed to appear today to file their respective counter-affidavits.
Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, earlier filed three counts of perjury against the respondents.
Luy is accusing Napoles of holding him against his will. Napoles denied the accusation.
The whistle-blowers are also claiming that Napoles set up at least 20 bogus non-government organizations to siphon pork barrel funds from lawmakers. The lawmakers allegedly connived with Napoles to get huge cuts from the state funds.
Napoles is now detained in Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna for a serious illegal detention case lodged by Luy. She was represented by lawyers Tristan Zoleta and Takahiro Kenjie Aman for the perjury charges.
The court ordered Napoles to submit her reply to the whistle-blowers' counter-affidavits on September 13.
Manila Assistant Prosecutor Philger Noel Inovejas earlier threatened to continue hearing the case without the testimonies of the respondents after the latter failed to appear before him last August 28.
– reports from Noel Alamar, dzMM; and Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News