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Napoles' fate now in Luy's hands.

Byline: Nancy C. Carvajal

MANILA -- The future of Janet Lim-Napoles now lies in the hands of her former employees-including principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy, a distant cousin whom she allegedly detained for three months-as they will play a big role in the processing of her application as state witness, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

"I explained the circumstances surrounding what Janet Napoles and I talked about and I assured them (Napoles' former employees) that the information gathered from her will go through the vetting process and they will be the first to be questioned as part of the validity check," De Lima told reporters.

De Lima's statement was echoed by Luy's lawyer Raji Mendoza, who accompanied his client to the meeting with De Lima on Friday.

Core of validation process

"We were assured that our witnesses would be at the core of the validation process with respect to the deposition of Ms. Napoles. Our witnesses are zealously preparing for this vetting process," Mendoza said.

Mendoza added that the whistle-blowers have "full trust and confidence in the wisdom and prudence exercised by Secretary De Lima in seeking the truth."

The justice secretary said the whistle-blowers expressed willingness to help in the validation of the information Napoles provided.

De Lima declined to give details of Napoles' statements, saying investigators have yet to complete the validation process.

De Lima described the meeting as "cordial and friendly," with "everybody smiling and relaxed."

According to a source who was at the meeting, the whistle-blowers apologized to De Lima for their initial reaction about her meeting with Napoles and the possibility of her being a state witness like them.

De Lima also denied reports that the witnesses are considering leaving the witness protection program.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 3, 2014
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