THE lawyer of “pork barrel” scam whistleblower Benhur Luy yesterday said his client was shocked by the move of Solicitor General Jose Calida for the acquittal of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, saying the points raised by Calida were settled by the court when it convicted her in 2015 of the serious illegal detention case filed by Luy.
“We were just surprised that it was the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) taking an adverse position while the case is in the Court of Appeals and we are likewise taken aback by the fact that we were not aware of any order by the appellate court for this manifestation,” said lawyer Raji Mendoza over ANC.
He also said the OSG’s move targets Luy’s credibility as a witness in the multi-billion-peso pork scam cases.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, which reported on the OSG’s move, said legal experts it has interviewed agreed that while the move may not have a direct impact of the pork cases pending before the Sandiganbayan, questions about the integrity of Luy’s testimonies in the illegal detention case and against Napoles my be raised
Calida on Wednesday said the Makati court “erred” in convicting Napoles, based on evidence and transcript of records. He also said the OSG’s move is not meant to get Napoles acquitted but “just to let the Court of Appeals know what our opinion on the matter is.”
Mendoza said the points raised by Calida in his manifestation were addressed during the nearly two-year hearing of the serious illegal detention charges filed by Luy against Napoles and in the decision issued by Makati City RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda in his 2015 decision convicting Napoles for the crime.
Luy’s former lawyer, Levito Baligod, said Calida’s move is unfair to Luy.
“Meron talagang function ang OSG to intervene pero sana ang pag-intervene ay sa tama… Dapat i-consider ang totality ng circumstances kaso dito ang tiningan lang ay ang panig ni Napoles at hindi ang sinasabi ni Benhur,” Levito told radio dzMM.