Photos show Benhur Luy never detained: Kapunan
MANILA (UPDATE) -- Benhur Luy, the key whistleblower in the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam case, was never detained by Janet Lim Napoles and her brother, the businesswoman's lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, insisted on Friday.
Kapunan showed the media photos grabbed from footage of a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera at the Pacific Plaza Tower, where Luy was allegedly illegally detained by Napoles and her brother, Reynald "Jojo" Lim.
In the photos shown by Kapunan, Lim (in white shirt) and Luy (in red shirt) are seen standing next to each other at the basement parking of Pacific Plaza.
Kapunan noted that Luy was also not handcuffed nor tied.
She added that Luy could have easily escaped if he wanted since he was not in any way restrained by Lim.
"Kung talagang ni-restrain siya, eh si Benhur nasa likod, pwede naman siyang tumakbo anytime no," she said, adding that Luy is a marathon runner.
"Pwede naman siyang tumakas... Hindi naman po restrained," she added.
Kapunan also alleged that on March 22, the night of the supposed rescue of Luy by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Luy himself had refused to be rescued.
"Sabi nga ni Benhur Luy nung siya ay nirerescue ng NBI, 'Ayokong sumama sa inyo, wala namang ginagawang masama si...Jojo," she said.
Kapunan on Luy, Lim: Barkada sila
Kapunan said Luy can freely go in and out of the Pacific Plaza Tower because he and Lim were friends.
"Magkasama naman sila lagi eh... Nakakalabas sila, barkada niya yan eh," she said.
She also said that Luy and Lim were also seeing each other during the three-month period that Luy was at a retreat house in Magallanes.
Luy placed himself on self-solitude after he admitted stealing money from Napoles, she said.
"From December  to March  naka-solitude o voluntary retreat siya... Paminsan-minsan o madalas silang lumabas ni Jojo, kumakain sila sa Magallanes Village restaurants, sa mall, sa supermarket nag-gogrocery," Kapunan said.
Napoles' lawyer also showed to the media a letter from Luy to his family, which supposedly proves that he was at a retreat house and not being detained against his will by Napoles and Lim.
Kapunan said the letter was written on February 19.
"Sana patuloy kayong maging matatag katulad sa akin sa harap ng situation na pinagdaraanan natin. Lahat ng ito ay pinahintulutan ng Diyos at meron itong nakalaan na mas maganda para sa ating lahat," the letter read.
"Iniimbitahan ko kayong damayan niyo ako sa aking ginagawa. I am currently doing the nocturnal prayer (3 a.m.), fasting para sa pagpapatawad ng pamilyang Napoles lalong-lalo na si Ate Jenny sa aking kasalanan o kasalanan natin."
"Hindi ko alam kung anong araw mag-uusap kayo ni Madam at Napoles family. Ang tulong na magagawa ko ay ipanalangin ko lamang kayo na gabayan kayo ng Espiritu Santo na siyang maging bibig, boses at manguna sa araw ng pag-uusap at paghingi ng tawad," Luy said in the letter.
Petition for bail
The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 is hearing today Napoles' petition for bail for the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy.
Eight witnesses are to be presented by the prosecution, including Luy, Gertrudes Luy, Marina Sula, NBI supervising agent Rodante Berou, Mary Arlene Baltazar, Merlina Pablo Sunas, Maria Flor Vistal Villanueva and Anabelle Luy - Reario.
Napoles' camp, on the other hand, will be presenting 17 witnesses to prove the case is weak.
The court, presided by Judge Elmo Alameda, will be holding morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate the witnesses. The hearing began at around 9 a.m. today.
Kapunan had said they filed the petition to post bail on the grounds that the evidence of guilt against her client is weak.
Kapunan added that Napoles should be released from detention so she can focus on her plunder case before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Napoles' brother, Lim, is still at large.