Luy: Revilla got kickbacks ‘on installment’
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Pork barrel scam star witness Benhur Luy yesterday concluded his testimony on the graft cases against Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., describing the lawmaker as “kind” for supposedly allowing the payment of his pork barrel kickbacks on installment.

Taking the witness stand before the Sandiganbayan First Division, Luy was asked by state prosecutor Reza Casila-Derayuna to clarify his earlier statement that “mabait si Revilla (Revilla is kind)”.

Luy said he described Revilla as such since the senator used to allow the payment of his kickbacks from the pork barrel scam on an installment basis as compared to other lawmakers who used to demand full payment of their kickbacks.

“Pinapayagan po kasi kami na magbayad ng installment (Because he used to allow us to pay him on installment),” Luy said.

Revilla is accused of receiving from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, P224.5 million in kickbacks or commissions for allegedly allocating P517 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to her bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).

The ombudsman said the PDAF allocation was for supposed livelihood and agricultural projects which turned out to be “ghosts” or never implemented.

In a decision in November last year, the First Division acquitted Revilla of a plunder case in connection with the scam. The court, however, convicted Napoles and Revilla’s former staff member Richard Cambe.

The court said “not a single evidence” was presented by the ombudsman’s prosecution team to prove that Revilla received rebates, commissions or kickbacks for the allocation of his PDAF to the Napoles-linked NGOs.

Despite his acquittal, Revilla is still facing 16 counts of graft still in connection with the alleged misuse of his PDAF.

During his cross-examination by Revilla lawyer Rheody Anthony Balisi, Luy, a former right-hand man of Napoles, admitted that he never personally transacted with the senator, especially when it came to the supposed payment of the latter’s kickbacks.

Luy said he used to communicate with Revilla only through Cambe. Luy said it was Napoles who had sole direct access to Revilla.

“My level is only through Cambe,” Luy said.

The hearing of Revilla’s graft cases will resume on Nov. 7, with officials from the Commission on Audit and the Anti-Money Laundering Council as well as bank representatives set to take the witness stand.

 

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