MANILA - "Pork barrel" scam whistleblower Benhur Luy failed to attend the trial of former Rep. Constantino Jaraula at the Sandiganbayan 1st Division on Tuesday due to pneumonia.
Luy was supposed to be cross-examined by the defense in the case of Jaraula who is accused of graft, malversation and direct bribery in connection with the multi-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Prosecutor Joefferson Toribio told the court that Luy called him yesterday as the "pork barrel" scam whistleblower was on his way to the Philippine General Hospital.
Toribio also showed the court, as well as the defense lawyers, a medical certificate issued to Luy. "He was advised by the doctor to rest for one week," Toribio told the anti-graft court.
1st Division Chair Efren Dela Cruz and senior member Justice Geraldine Econg reminded the prosecution to always put on stand-by a "reserve" witness.
Toribio said they always have a stand-by witness as in the other pork barrel scam cases but they did not expect that Luy will be calling in sick late yesterday.
"The prosecution is directed to be ready for another witness in the event that Benhur Luy will not be able to testify in the next hearing," Dela Cruz said.
Toribio promised the court that other whistleblowers will be on stand-by in the next hearing, scheduled on July 4.