UCPB claims no bank records for Benhur Luy
MANILA, Philippines – United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) claimed it has no bank records of pork barrel scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy from 2006 to 2010, which was requested to be subpoenaed by plunder defendant former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.
In a response to the Sandiganbayan's subpoena, UCPB said it has no records of transactions and year-end balances which pertain to 5 bank accounts supposedly belonging to Luy.
UCPB did not specify in its response whether the bank accounts existed at all. It merely said "it has no records of any documents covering the period from 2006 to 2010," which was what Revilla requested.
Revilla wanted to scrutinize Luy's bank accounts ahead of his plunder trial which is set to start on June 1, its 5th schedule since January after Revilla's legal team managed to postpone it by filing motions and pleadings.
Revilla asked the anti-graft court to subpoena 5 years worth of records of Luy's supposed 30 bank accounts from UCPB, Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO), and Metrobank Card Corporation.
Revilla also asked to subpoena bank records within the same period of Luy's mother Gertrudes and other whistle-blowers Merlina Suñas and Marina Sula.
Just like with Luy, UCPB also said it has no records pertaining to the alleged bank accounts of Gertrudes, Suñas, and Sula.
Janet Lim Napoles had also done the same strategy years before, filing before the Sandiganbayan requests to disclose Luy's bank accounts, travel records, registered vehicles, and real properties.
The Napoles camp said then that it was Luy, not the businesswoman tagged as the scam mastermind, who really earned from the corrupt scheme of transacting with lawmakers using their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
There is a pending forfeiture case filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) against Luy and Napoles before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 22. If found that their assets are ill-gotten, these will be seized by the state.
Luy has repeatedly claimed his wealth is the product of "perseverance and hard work."
Revilla cited this forfeiture case in his request for subpoena and to bolster his plunder defense.
In a hearing in 2014, an AMLC representative testified before the anti-graft court that cash deposits amounting to over P87 million made to Revilla's and his family members' accounts were consistent with Luy's financial records.
Revilla is accused of allegedly receiving P224.5 million in kickbacks from his pork barrel, through his former chief of staff Richard Cambe. – Rappler.com