MANILA (Mabuhay) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday branded as part of a “sinister agenda” a report that whistleblowers in the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam are mulling getting out of the government’s Witness Protection Program.
A report by The Daily Tribune, quoting an unnamed source with links to the camp of whistleblower Benhur Luy, said the whistleblowers might finally give up government protection because of the “many cancellations” of their meetings with the Justice Secretary.
Last week, De Lima told reporters she was meeting with Luy and the other whistleblowers Wednesday this week to discuss recent revelations of allege scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, including a list of individuals said to be involved in the irregularity.
On Wednesday, however, De Lima told reporters at CampCrame in Quezon City that the meeting was reset to Friday.
“Friday morning na. Tomorrow sana (Thursday) but we released it’s a holiday,’ said De Lima told reporters at CampCrame where she attended the launching of the electronic subpoena system.
On Thursday, De Lima belied the report that her scheduled meeting with Luy and the others have been repeatedly postponed.
“That’s not true at all. Besides, there was only one resetting, from yesterday, Wednesday to tomorrow, Friday,” De Lima said.
“So what ‘continued’ resetting is that media item talking about? For their own sinister agenda, some quarters simply cannot stop fomenting intrigues,” she added.
De Lima also stressed that even the original Wednesday schedule to meet with Luy’s camp was “tentative” in the first place.
Luy and several other former employees of Napoles in the latter’s supposed bogus foundations have earlier been placed under the WPP for being provisional witnesses.
The whistleblowers admitted helping facilitate the diversion of multi-billion-pesos worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers into non-existent non-government organizations, with the help of lawmakers themselves and several government agency officials. (MNS)