MANILA, Apr 15 (Mabuhay) — The Palace believes that the guilty verdict handed down against Janet Lim Napoles in her illegal detention trial boosts the credibility of Benhur Luy and other witnesses in the pork barrel cases.
Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said the guilty verdict has implications on the credibility of Luy as a key witness in the pork barrel cases.
”Pinatibay nito ang katayuan ni Benhur Luy at ng mga whistleblowers. At sa kabuuan, pagbibigay ito ng lakas loob sa mga nais tumulong sa kampanya laban sa korupsyon at katiwalian,” Coloma said.
Coloma also noted how the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, being presided by Judge Elmo Alameda, handed down a verdict in a relatively short amount of time.
”Kapansin-pansin na naging mabilis ang paggulong ng hustisya. Mula ng naisampa ang kaso ng August 2013, naibaba ang sentensiya, April 2015. Twenty months ang elapsed time. Siguro lahat ay magsasabi na kapansin pansin ito at dapat maging ganito ang takbo ng hustisya sa ating bansa,” he said.
The Makati court found Napoles guilty of illegally detaining Luy. The businesswoman was sentenced to reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment) or 20 years and one day to 40 years in prison.
Luy earlier claimed he was detained by Napoles and her brother, Reynald Lim, after it was discovered that he was doing his own pork barrel transactions.
Napoles is currently facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly orchestrating the P10-billion scam, where some lawmakers are accused of funneling their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations in exchange for kickbacks.
Napoles’ lawyer Bruce Rivera earlier said they informed the court that they will be filing an appeal. He said they have yet to discuss whether to file a motion for reconsideration or move to directly appeal before a higher court. (MNS)