MANILA, Nov 24 (Mabuhay) – Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy told the Sandiganbayan on Monday that they also used the codename “Cong. Biazon” for Senator Jinggoy Estrada in connection with the alleged misuse of the senator’s pork barrel funds.
Testifying at the bail hearing of Estrada, who is facing plunder and graft charges, Luy said that apart from calling the senator “Anak,” “Kuya,” and “Seksi,” they also called him “Cong. Biazon.”
According to Luy, the alias was in reference to former Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, who is also facing a malversation complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman over the pork barrel scam.
Asked for a clarification, Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano, a member of the prosecution, explained that alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles used “Cong. Biazon” for Estrada because he and Biazon were sons of former senators.
Biazon is the son of former senator now Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, while Estrada is the son of former senator Loi Estrada.
Estrada scoffed at the attribution.
“Highly absurd and ridiculous ang pag-attribute sa akin sa pangalan ni Congressman Biazon (is the attribution to me of Congressman Biazon’s name). It proves that there are lots of inconsistencies in the testimony of the star witness,” he said.
According to Luy’s disbursement report presented to the court, Estrada received P11.97 million in kickbacks from a P30-million Department of Agriculture project under the name of “Cong. Biazon” dated March 2005.
Luy said the amount was received by Pauline Labayen, Estrada’s deputy chief of staff and alleged middleman who fled her plunder charges.
Asked whether Luy called him “Biazon” because of similarities in figure, Estrada said: “Siguro sa konting chubby lang.”
“Seksi na ako ngayon,” he added. (MNS)