MANILA (Mabuhay) – Benhur Luy, principal whistleblower in the alleged multi-billion peso pork barrel fund scam, and standing as witness in the bail hearings of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr’s plunder case, has sought the Sandiganbayan’s assistance to block the defense team’s access to his controversial hard drive, which according to him contains documents pertaining lawmakers’ transactions with bogus NGOs.
Luy said the defense should only be provided copies of some of the files mentioned in the testimony of the witness from the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime division.
“On the strength of the movant’s constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy, as well as on the ground that the other contents of the said hard drive are irrelevant to the instant case, it is respectfully prayed of this honorable court that the right of the defense in this case to access the contents of the said hard drive be limited only to those matters that are pertinent and relevant to the instant case. The scope of the granted access should only be narrowed down to the files that were the subject of [NBI special investigator III Joey] Narciso’s testimony,” Luy’s motion reads.
In particular, Luy asked the court to limit the defense’ access to six documents, including:
a. Files contained in the “JLN Disbursement” folder;
b. 2009-NGO, Company, Interest-BankBalance Update.xls;
c. 2010-NGO, Company, Interest-BankBalance Update.xls;
d. JLN Cash Disbursement.xls
e. 2010 JLN Cash Disbursement.xls; and
Luy, cousin and former employee of businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, was the first to expose the alleged anomaly that supposedly diverted billions of pesos in public funds to Napoles’ fake NGOs.
In his two page “Very Urgent Manifestation/Motion to Clarify” regarding the order… on 28 August that allowed the defense to secure copies of the files contained in Luy’s external hard drive, Luy also asserted that providing the defense a full copy of all files is unnecessary, and may jeopardize other pork-related cases.
Moreover, Luy cited his constitutional right to privacy, noting that some files contained in the hard drive are personal in nature.
“It bears stressing that the movant’s personal hard drive contains sensitive information that are not only irrelevant to the instant case, but are also personal in character and therefore, protected under the Constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. Said hard drive also contains other transactions pertaining Ms. Napoles’ operations with other government officials, both PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) and non-PDAF,” the motion said.
In his motion, Luy reminded the anti-graft court that other pork barrel cases are pending within different divisions of the Sandiganbayan, and that providing the defense a full copy of Luy’s hard drive will not only jeopardize current cases, but also of pending ones still being investigated by the Ombudsman.
“Some of those transactions [in Luy’s hard drive] are already the subject of on-going investigations by the Office of the Ombudsman, such as the Malampaya Fund Scam. The files contained in Luy’s hard drive are vital to the successful prosecution by the government of officials who may have transacted with Napoles involving government funds,” the motion said.
“To allow the defense to copy all the files in the Hard Drive would prematurely leak sensitive information that may adversely affect the government’s other cases as well as the on-going investigations of the NBI and the Office of the Ombudsman,” Luy added.
Aside from Napoles and Revilla, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, as well as other government officials have been charged with plunder and graft in relation to the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam. (MNS)