The confrontation between Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains of the pork barrel scam, and Benhur Luy, her former employee who disclosed her reported anomalous transactions, is expected as Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday signed the subpoena directing Napoles to appear before the Blue Ribbon committee on November 7.
The panel also summoned six whistleblowers who earlier testified in the Senate.
Aside from Luy, subpoenas were also issued to Gertrudes Luy, Marina Sula, Merlina Suña, Mary Arlene Baltazar and Simonette Briones.
All six were employees of Napoles‘s JLN Corporation.
Blue Ribbon panel chairman Teofisto Guingona 3rd noted that they decided to invite the whistleblowers so that the panel can have a system of cross checks and balances wherein both parties can immediately validate or refute what is being said during the proceedings.
Sparks are expected to fly in the November 7 hearing because Guingona’s panel has no plans to impose conditions to those who will be testifying. This means that Napoles and other whistleblowers can say whatever they want and identify anyone, even legislators.
During previous hearings, the whistleblowers were prevented from naming senators and congressmen who had transactions with Napoles.
Some members of the committee even resorted to using nicknames and aliases to hide the identity of the legislators being described by the witnesses.
“There will be no conditions this time. Yes, the hearing will bare all,” Guingona said.
But some observers expressed doubts that Napoles will bare all since her camp already expressed unwillingness to attend the Senate hearing.
“Anything is possible. Anybody can file anything,” Guingona said.
However, even if she is allowed by the Makati Regional Trial Court to attend the hearing, Napoles can still invoke her right against self-incrimination and deny giving information to senators.
The court’s Clerk of Court Josefa Valencia said Napoles may be allowed to attend the Senate inquiry because the pork scam issue is not related to the case being heard by Judge Elmo Alameda.
“The pork barrel fund probe of the Senate is different from the serious illegal detention of Mrs. Napoles being heard by the court, so I think her testimony in the Upper Chamber will not be prejudicial to her case,” Valencia told The Manila Times.
“All matters and issues will be considered and will be weighed by the judge before he issues a court order,” she added.
While the judge has yet to come out with a decision, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is already preparing the necessary security for Napoles, according to PNP Public Information chief Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac.
The PNP facility in Fort Santo Domingo, Santa Rosa Laguna, where Napoles is detained confirmed receipt of the Senate subpoena.