Priest is JLN Corp. stockholder, Luy's lawyers say
Kapunan no-show in Napoles bail hearing
MANILA - Lawyer Lorna Kapunan did not appear Wednesday during the continuation of Janet Napoles' bail hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150.
It was instead her co-counsel, Atty. Alfredo Villamor, who led the defense during the proceedings.
Kapunan and her team appeared briefly during the bail hearing but also left immediately after talking to the Judge Elmo Alameda.
Reports circulated of Kapunan's withdrawal as counsel of Napoles.
However, Clerk of Court Atty. Diosefa Valencia clarified that they have not received any formal declaration from Kapunan signifying the same.
Valencia said that a formal motion is required, with the consent of the client, before the court recognizes the withdrawal of counsel.
"Nag-usap sila ni judge kanina, posibleng nag-signify ng intent. Pero wala pa kaming nakatanggap na motion. Sa ngayon, andiyan pa naman si Atty. Villamor as co-counsel kaya patuloy parin ang proceedings," she said.
Villamor has thus far refused to comment on the issue.
Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy finished his testimony Wednesday on the circumstances behind his so-called detention.
The defense then presented its own witness, Fr. Peter Lavin, to prove that Luy was not held against his will for over 3 months at an alleged retreat house in Magallanes.
Lavin, who belongs to the Alagad ni Maria retreat house in Antipolo, said he saw Luy in Magallanes during visits and greeted him a few times.
The said Reynaldo Lim, brother and co-accused of Napoles, told him that Luy wanted to go on retreat for certain "vices".
Lavin said he was also shown provocative photos of Luy which seems to show him engaging in sexual acts with another man.
This convinced him of the need for Luy to undergo a retreat, although he admitted Luy never made the request to him.
In its cross-examination, the prosecution assailed Lavin's credibility by revealing that he was one of the stockholders of JLN Corp.
Lavin denied the allegation, but the prosecution said it will present documents before the court to prove the fact.
Lavin also admitted receiving stipend from Napoles.
The priest said he is a regular co-celebrant with Monsignor Josefino Ramirez during masses held at the office of JLN.