Respect legal process, says Luy's lawyer
MANILA – The counsel for primary pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, Atty. Levito Baligod, stressed the importance of respecting the legal processes before the Office of the Ombudsman, in the wake of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's move to subpoena the whistleblowers in its continuing hearings on the alleged scam.
Taking Justice Secretary Leila De Lima's lead, Baligod said the whistleblowers' camp is having "reservations" about appearing before the Committee hearing.
In a letter to Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, De Lima said she could not clear the whistleblowers' appearance in Tuesday's hearing in deference to the Office of the Ombudsman, since cases have already been filed with the anti-graft office in relation to the pork scam.
"Kaya lamang nagkaroon kami ng konting reservation dahil ang intindi kasi namin ay nailahad na sa Senado ‘yung iskema kung papaano nila nawaldas ang pondo ng bayan," Baligod said.
Baligod was referring to Luy's testimony before the Committee two weeks ago, where he narrated the details of the so-called pork scam scheme.
Baligod added that the whistleblowers will not name names before the Committee, to be fair to those being accused of involvement in the anomaly.
However, in aid of legislation, the whistleblowers, should they be cleared to appear before the hearings again, will only discuss the modus operandi behind the scam.
"Respetuhin natin ang proseso ng Ombudsman. Baka kasi may pinangalangan ang whistleblowers na hindi naman pala responsable…para mabigyan rin ng pagkakataon ‘yung mga inakusahan na magpaliwanag din, malay natin may sapat na pagpapaliwanag…so kawawa naman," Baligod said.
MALAMPAYA FUND MESS
The whistleblowers have submitted all their documentary evidence to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ahead of the filing of cases in connection with the Malampaya Fund scam, also allegedly involving
Unlike the pork scam, lawmakers were not tagged in the misuse of the Malampaya natural gas project royalties, Baligod said.
"Iba ito dahil ang nakakaalam lamang kung nagkaroon ng kickback o wala [public officials] ay si Gng. Napoles, pero ang importante ay mapapatunayan nila (whistleblowers) na ang pera ng gobyerno ay mapupunta sa 12 na NGOs na konektado kay Gng. Napoles.
"Sasabihin nila na walang [project] implementation ito...maaaring ang kaso ay malversation of public funds by private individuals," Baligod said.
The whistleblowers, however, mentioned the alleged involvement of ranking official(s) from the Executive branch, he added.
"May binabanggit sila pero pagbigyan ninyo kami na huwag muna banggitin...sa level ng departamento, cabinet level," Baligod said.