MANILA – At a bail hearing held on Friday, November 21, purported pork barrel scam author, Janet Lim Napoles, cried after a witness once more pointed to former Sandiganbayan associate justice Gregory Ong as Napoles’ connection within the anti-graft court.
In 2010, Ong – who was then chairman of the anti-graft court’s Fourth Division – acquitted Napoles for her involvement in the case of the dubious procurement of Kevlar helmets by the Philippine Marines.
Pork scam witness, Marina Sula, testified that Napoles repeatedly told them not to worry about being charged before the Sandiganbayan because of her connections inside the court.
Sula and fellow-witness, Benhur Luy, earlier testified that Napoles had Ong on her payroll and gave him money in for the judge’s favorable rulings in cases in which Napoles was implicated,
Upon hearing this testimony, Napoles shed tears; reportedly on account of the fact that Ong, who is suffering from cancer, is a friend of hers.
Napoles told members of the media that Ong never received any payouts from her.
“Ni pisong duling (Not a cross-eyes peso.)” she said.
She likewise asserted that she never influenced Ong, adding that if she was in a position to do so, she would not have even been implicated in the Kevlar case.
Prior to the testimony, Ong was dismissed from service by the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of “gross misconduct, dishonesty, and impropriety under the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary.”
According to a probe conducted by the high court, Ong had twice visited Napoles at her office after his alleged participation in the decision in the Kevlar case; whereas these visits had not been disclosed in his letter to the Chief Justice in September 2013, in which he denied any involvement with Napoles.