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Whistleblower Merlina Sunas (center) during a forum on Aug. 23. (photo from AP/BM)

PH Senators Legarda, Marcos Dealt with Napoles – Witness

Whistleblower Merlina Sunas (center) during a forum on Aug. 23. (photo from AP/BM)
Whistleblower Merlina Sunas (center) during a forum on Aug. 23. (photo from AP/BM)

Janet Lim Napoles allegedly detained pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy for independently dealing with a common aide of Senators Loren Legarda and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In a testimony before the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 during the continuing hearing for Napoles’ bail, Merlina Suñasrevealed that Napoles was receiving funds from both senators through a “Maya Santos”.

Suñas claims to be a previous employee of Napoles’ JLN Corporation for 12 years, tasked to prepare documents for dealings with legislators.

She said Santos regularly visited the JLN office to hand over documents required for the projects of Sen. Legarda and Sen. Marcos.

“Maya Santos is a frequent visitor to the office of Napoles, especially if they have projects,” she said.

“Ma’am Maya (Santos) goes to the office whenever they have projects funded by the senators. She hands Napoles the requirements for the projects,” she said.

She also claims to have been present during the meeting leadint to the detention of Luy.

Suñas said to the court Luy claimed to have not been able to reach a person of interest to Napoles during a meeting with Napoles’ nephew John Lim and Evelyn de Leon, which prompted Napoles to grab Luy’s iPhone 4 and discover various text messages to and from Santos.

She said Napoles then accused Luy of having secret deals with Santos, and called him a traitor.

She said Luy was detained in a separate room by Napoleon Sibayan, a security guard ordered by Napoles to keep watch over Luy.

She said Luy contacted her through phone three months after the incident on March 24, saying in the local language, “Tita(Aunt), this is Ben. They already released me. Tita, they had detained me since December 19.”

Php800,000 was ordered by Napoles transferred from Luy’s bank account to JLN’s, Suñas said.

Napoles is charged for the illegal detention of Luy, who revealed a multibillion- peso scam on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allegedly masterminded by the former.

(with reports from The Philippine Inquirer and The Philippine Star)