Priests ‘detained’ Luy in retreat house

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Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy went to and from the Makati Regional Trial Court branch 150 on Friday under heavy guard, courtesy of the Department of Justice. The DOJ filed a case of serious illegal detention against suspected scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Photo By Edwin Muli

Pork barrel fund scam whistleblower Benhur Luy on Friday said the Napoleses convinced a Catholic priest to confine him in a retreat house for his own protection because “senators and mayors” were after him.

Luy, the last witness to be presented by the prosecution in the bail hearing of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, recounted how he was detained by Napoles and her brother and co-accused, Reynald “Jojo” Lim.

During direct examination of the prosecutors, Luy told Makati Regional Trial Court branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda that Lim brought him to a retreat house, the Bahay San Jose, at 52 Lapu-Lapu Street, Magallanes Village, Makati City on the night of December 20 after being held in an office at Discovery Suites.

He said the house, which was bought by Napoles in 2010, was being used by a group of priests.


When they arrived at the house, they were welcomed by a certain Monsignor Josefino Ramirez, whom Luy described as the Napoleses’ family friend.

Before Ramirez showed up, Luy said Lim told him to keep his mouth shut.

“Don’t say anything. You know there’s a place for you. Isn’t it you love your family?” Luy said, recounting Lim’s words.

Luy said Lim informed Ramirez he will be staying at the retreat house because mayors and senators were after Luy.

He said Lim explained to Ramirez that if “the politician’s men barged into the retreat house, they will not touch Luy because the monsignor and some priests reside there.”

Luy said he was brought to what resembled a small chapel, across from the monsignor’s room.

The witness broke down in tears several times while retelling how the Napoleses threatened to harm him and his mother, Gertrudes, if he did not remain silent.
Before he was brought to the retreat house, Luy was held at the office of JLN Group of Companies in Discovery Suites, Pasig City on December 19, 2012.

He said the Napoleses suspected him of having secret dealings with the staff of some senators.

Luy said Lim showed him cellphone pictures of his mother while saying “Di ba mahal mo ang nanay mo (Don’t you love your mother)?”

He said Napoles ordered him detained after she discovered that he had been receiving text messages from a certain Maya Santos, an alleged project coordinator for some senators.

“You animal. Even the PDAF of Ungab, you have stolen,” Luy quoted Napoles as saying. Ungab is a congressman from third district of Davao City.

Luy said Lim even hit him and told him that he was ready to kill for his sister since he was already a convicted criminal.

Luy said Lim also instructed him to write a letter apologizing to Napoles.

Luy said Alfredo Villamor, legal counsel of JLN Corporation and Napoles’ defense lawyer, told him that his cousin wanted him jailed due to his transactions.

He said he also met William, Napoles’ older brother, and pleaded to help him explain his side to Napoles.

Luy arrived in the courtroom flanked by security men from the Department of Justice Witness Protection Program.

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15 Comments

  1. Fernando Habito on

    Reynald “Jojo” Lim (brother of JNL) and Jaime Napoles (husband of JLN) are accomplished of the Janet Napoles Scam,..! Why are these two guys still at large..these two men should also be locked up in jail. like Janet…!

  2. “And this kawatan, super thief Rep. Ungab has the gall to deny his participation of this super-scam and keep on defending the King of Pork, PNoy. This Ungab must be the first one to be kicked to jail.”

    ONLI IN DA PILIPINZ. And you call these Pigs “Honourables”, First, these bunch of swine pigs get elected to the the House of the RepresentaThieves by way of vote buying, massive cheating, deliberate manipulations and brazen machinations to ensure themselves a rightful seat – and presto! – the stealing machine is now set in motion, political patronage and endowment is in progress and continue to prosper with no end in sight. Folks, this is Philippine politics in a capsule. And this legacy is passed on to the next rightful Family member, siblings, affiliates, and cronies and allies – thus perpetuating the same crooked, stinking, corrupt, manipulative ways that has gone unchecked for many, many, many decades….

  3. Maritess Del Valle on

    Hindi lang self confessed forger itong si Benhur kung hindi fairytale writer pa. Palpak ang nag coach dito, unbelievable ang story. Dahil sa kampi naman sa kanya ang secretary of injustice eh baka makalusot na rin ito sa husgado. Akala ko noon ng sa CHR pa si Delima e pata ito, hindi rin pala. Hindi sa kinakampihan ko si Napoles. Pero masyadong bias ang mga action ni Delima. Saan ka nakakita na illegal detention ang kaso eh may kasamang freezing bank accounts. Masisira ang college of law sa mga chief of injustice natin. Bakit kaya ang mga senador hindi pina freeze ang bank accounts?

  4. Etong paring eto dapat isama din sa plunder case. Bakit ang pari sa pinas may nangre rape at corrupt pa? Minana nila eto sa mga paring kastila noong panahon ni Rizal

  5. Parang walang naglalakas ng loob maginterview sa mga pari, sobrang tahimik ng mga pari? hhmmm, sabagay ang magnanakaw kapamilya talga ng mga sinungaling.

  6. Luy had admitted about forging signatures, accused by Napoles of stealing PDAF and having secret deals with the staff of some Senators but he is being treated like a hero. He should be included in the charges as he was the person who did the dirty work and was caught doing so. Only in the Philippines: commit crimes, steal money and when you get caught, either return part of the money or become a state witness and you will be treated like royalty and will be set free.

  7. Bakit ang simbahan nakikipagsabwatan sa mga Napoles?Dahil ba sa malaki ang inaambag nilang donation?This is like the church is making a deal with the devil herself.

  8. Ive also read napolez wants a member of her family to be allowed to stay with her at night as she isnt used to sleeping on her own & its affecting her mentally. Good i hope she suffers every single day of her life. She deserves to rot in hell & if i were in charge every time she opened her mouth to complain in any way i would beat her. If she wants someone to stay with her give her the nastiest bully from the worst prison & pay the bully to really bully napolez. I dont care if she dies tomorrow, if the authorities havent already interviewed her then they are useless. The 1st thing they should have done on her arrest was to question her & get it all on tape. If she then tries to change it at any time you know she is a liar & never a word from her mouth can be believed. When i hear some senators saying give her protection from prosecution if she will implicate others, well i think they are then involved with her & want her to implicate others whilst omitting them. All senators & every politician from the top to the bottom in local or country government should be investigated for any form of stealing government money as this shows how easy it is for these dishonourable people to steal from the people of this country. Im sorry if i sound angry but im very angry & i get even angrier when i see the stupidthings some of these politicians say.

  9. calling the attention of CBCP on these priest accepting accomodation at napoles’ house in magallanes.This affair should be reported direct to the present Pope who just admonished a german cardinal for lavish lifestyles and asking the same to stepdown.These priests who might have enjoyed janets hospitality might even know about her wrongdoings but decided to turn the other cheek because they love the good life that was on offer.

  10. jose b. taganahan on

    Wow serious illegal detention in the Discovery Suites and in a retreat house in Magallanes Village! Ano kayang pina pakain kay Benhur Luy while in “detention” in the Discovery Suites and in a retreat house inside the plush Magallanes Village, tuyo? Do we have to understand that Luy cannot escape from his “detention” in the Discovery Suites and in the retreat house? Was his hands tied or his room padlocked 24 hours daily?

  11. Bakit ganyan ang headline… Irresponsable,,, priest detained lim…para bang may kasalanan ang mga pari …wala namang kamuwang muwang hehe

    • I guess, these priests are pretending not to know because they shared also the bounty of Napoleses. The fact that they are staying in Napoles property free of charge, it means these priests have their share of the PDAF and Malampaya funds. Too much hypocrisy in the clergy world. Are they among the group of “bling” and “airport” priests?

  12. Sec.De Lima should make no mistake about not including the administration’s allies in the plunder case. These kind of testimonies is a direct rebuke to the department of justice’s decision not to include any of the administration alies. The filipino people wants to know all the details of the this scam and put everyone who participated and squanderd the peoples money in jail.

  13. And this kawatan, super thief Rep. Ungab has the gall to deny his participation of this super-scam and keep on defending the King of Pork, PNoy. This Ungab must be the first one to be kicked to jail.