Thursday, August 15, 2013

De Lima, NBI chief warned of plot to kill them -

By Kristine Angeli Sabillo

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A group of hired guns is allegedly planning to kill the Justice Secretary and the National Bureau of Investigation chief, said Levito Baligod, lawyer of whistleblower Benhur Luy, in a Radyo Inquirer 990AM interview on Friday.

Baligod said he received information that hitmen were being recruited to kill him, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas.

"We have not been receiving any threats [against Benhur Luy] other than the one I received yesterday at around 1 p.m.. Someone texted me saying that there is a three million bounty on my head and that he is among those being recruited by a group that hired – I won't say right now who hired them – and he is among those recruited by the group to implement their transaction of assassinating me and two government officials," he said, adding that the two officials identified by his source were De Lima and Rojas.

Baligod said he was able to talk to the former military man, who he personally knew, but couldn't contact him anymore when he tried to call again for more information.

"Actually after he texted I talked to him on the telephone and on my second call I could not contact him anymore. It is likely that he changed phones and didn't want the group to know that he gave out information," he said.

Asked whether Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, could be behind the threat, Baligod said he didn't want to speculate and didn't have any evidence to show that they were capable of making such threat.

Although they haven't verified how real the threat is, he said they have already taken precautionary steps to secure themselves and their families.

Baligod's client, Benhur Luy, has been placed under the Witness Protection Program of the government after he accused Napoles and her family of setting-up and using non-government organizations to strike deals with lawmakers for the liquidation of their Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel.

Meanwhile, Napoles and her brother Reynald "Jojo" Lim are still being hunted by authorities after a Makati Regional Trial Court ordered them arrested for serious illegal detention of Luy.

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Tags: Benhur Luy , Death threat , Janet Lim Napoles , Leila de Lima , Levito Baligod , Nation , Nonnatus Rojas , Politics , pork barrel scam
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