A prosecution witness told a Makati court on Wednesday Senators Loren Legarda and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., gave their “funds” to Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Merlina Pablo Suñas took the witness stand at the resumption of Napoles’ bail hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150.
Napoles is charged with serious illegal detention before the court.
Suñas, who said she was an employee of Napoles for 12 years, said a certain Maya Santos, whom she described as a conduit for Legarda and Marcos, frequented the office of JLN Corp. to submit the requirements for the projects of the two senators.
“Ma’am Maya goes to the office whenever they have projects funded by the senators,” said Suñas.
Santos submitted the requirements directly to Napoles, the witness said.
Suñas said the “funds” she was referring to came form the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Legarda and Marcos.
She was presented by the prosecution to corroborate the testimony of the first witness, Maria Flor Villanueva.
Villanueva had testified that Napoles instructed her staff to prepare the room where Benhur Luy would be detained.
Suñas also backed the statement of Villanueva that Napoles got angry at Luy for secretly dealing with the chiefs of staff of some senators.
Suñas said that on December 19, 2012, her boss summoned her to the JLN Corporation office at the Discovery Center in Ortigas, to discuss business matters.
Present at the meeting were Luy, Evelyn de Leon, who is also a JLN employee, and John Lim, nephew and employee of Napoles.
Suñas said Napoles borrowed Luy’s phone and read the text messages in it.
Napoles fumed when she saw the name of Santos, the supposed “projects coordinator” of some senators, in the text messages.
Napoles called Santos on the phone and cursed her, Suñas said.
“You’re my friend, yet you betrayed me. So this is why only a little PDAF reaches me,” Suñas quoted Napoles as telling Santos.
She said Napoles suspected that her PDAF cut got smaller because of the hidden deals between Luy and the chiefs of staff of some senators.
After she was through talking with Santos, Napoles turned her ire on Luy, calling him a “snake.”
Suñas said Napoles then called a certain Attorney Asoy and after their phone conversation, Napoles told her staff to detain Luy.
Napoles left the room to talk to someone and all the staff also left.
Suñas said Luy went back to the room to get his other mobile phone, but Napoleon “Naps” Sibayan, supposedly Napoles’ security guard was already guarding him.
She heard Napoles ordered her brother Reynald Lim and Sibayan to bring Luy to a room in suite 2501.
Suñas said she saw Luy inside a room in the suite through a glass door still being guarded by Sibayan.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO