Benhur Luy’s ‘smiling demeanor’ annoys Napoles’ lawyer

MANILA, Philippines – Pork barrel scam principal whistleblower Benhur Luy is known for his giddy smile and happy demeanor, even during his earlier testimony at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing.

But the counsel of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles is not at all happy at how Luy reacts at the courtroom to the questions asked by the defense lawyers, and has to call the attention of the Sandiganbayan presiding judge for his uncalled-for smiles and chuckles during the proceeding.

“He is smiling, your honor, as if this is a game. We like to put on record the demeanor of the witness,” lawyer Stephen David told the court during the Monday hearing on the bail petition of two of the accused in the plunder case.

Sandiganbayan Fifth Division Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, however, refused to grant David’s request to put Luy’s demeanor on record; assuring everyone that the court has been observing the demeanor, not only of the witnesses, but of all the parties involved in the case including the defense and the prosecution lawyers themselves.

But Gesmundo, at one point, reprimanded Luy for speaking more than what he was asked and reminded the witness to avoid giving additional remarks unless sought by the court.

Benhur Luy was noticed smiling, even chuckling, on several instances while he was on the witness stand; a behavior which particularly annoyed the lawyer of Janet Lim-Napoles.

During an interview with reporters after the hearing, David said he called on Luy’s demeanor because being an officer of the court, he would also want the integrity and decorum maintained. He added Luy’s behavior inside the courtroom was an insult to the accused. (Click here to read more)

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