Benhur Luy and his former boss Janet Lim-Napoles will soon see each other again as the pork barrel scam witness is expected to testify before the Sandiganbayan’s 3rd Division after Merlina Suñas finishes her testimony.
Napoles is facing a plunder case as Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s co-accused before the 3rd Division, which is hearing her bail petition.
Before Friday’s bail hearing adjourned, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chairman Amparo Cabotaje-Tang asked the prosecution how many more witnesses it intends to present.
Prosecutor Edwin Gomez replied that they will present one or two more witnesses, identifying these as Benhur Luy and Ruby Tuason.
Tang told the prosecution to expedite their presentation of evidence, saying, “[T]his bail hearing has been going on for quite some time. We should finish with dispatch.”
Gomez said they will file the necessary manifestation if they feel that their evidence is already sufficient after Luy’s testimony and there is no more need for Tuason’s testimony.
Suñas, meanwhile, will face cross-examination by Napoles’ lawyers.
In an interview after the hearing, Tang said under the rules, bail hearings are summary in nature so the court asked for the prosecution to speed up its presentation of evidence.
When asked on their experience in conducting hearings at the Correctional Institute for Women where Napoles is committed, she and Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz said that it was okay.
Associate Justice Alex Quiroz said, “Comparing this to the Sandiganbayan, after the hearing we can already attend to other equally important cases,” citing travel time and the stress while traveling because of the traffic.
He cited “the hospitality of this institution. We’re very thankful to the director of this institution.”
Last week, Napoles was sentenced to reclusion perpetua in a serious illegal detention case filed by Benhur Luy and was transferred from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila) to the correctional facility.
Meanwhile, Napoles took a swipe at Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda before the hearing by the Sandiganbayan’s 3rd1 Division on her petition for bail at the facility began.
“Sana makatulog pa rin nang mahimbing si Judge Alameda [I hope Judge Alameda can still sleep soundly],” she read to reporters a statement she had prepared.
Her pending bail petition is heard once a week.