DOJ: Luy’s decision won’t make significant changes to Pork Issue
Attorney Levito Baligod has been shown the door on Wednesday for his waning attention towards his client, pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
In a signed one-page letter by Luy, he said he has decided to part ways with his legal counsel because of the lawyer’s lack of time for his client. He said ‘I have noticed that you were very busy with your other advocacies that is why I have decided to pursue this journey even without you guiding me.’
Luy also thanked Baligod for his services and formally released his obligations to Luy on 3 March 2014. Meanwhile, Baligod admitted he had been busy with other witnesses and cases, but said he harboured no ill feelings towards Luy: ‘Maganda yung nangyayari dahil nakikita natin na maraming mga abogado ang interested na mabilang dito sa ating adhikain.’
Justice secretary Leila De Lima was one of those who didn’t expect Luy’s decision. But she said the client can always change his counsel. She also assured that recent developments will bring no significant changes to the plunder charges filed against Senators Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Junior, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada now at the Ombudsman.
When it came to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, De Lima admitted she is not comfortable with the idea of transferring Napoles to a regular jail. Many have called for Napoles to be treated as a regular inmate since costs for her security detail and the operation of her detention cell were revealed to reach more than Php100,000 a month.
The justice secretary argued ‘If she is transferred to a less secure area, we might just blow that chance [that she would talk].
‘(The transfer of Napoles) needs to be studied for its repercussions.’
Meanwhile, the Manila Regional Trial Court has issued a preservation order barring Napoles, members of her family and a number of whistleblowers from using or making changes to their assets and bank accounts. The order has been released as reply to a petition filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). Money laundering is the use of money that has been obtained through crime.