Luy asks Sandiganbayan to block access to his hard drive

By , on September 3, 2014

Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy. Screenshot from InterAksyon/TV5
Pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy. Screenshot from InterAksyon/TV5

MANILA — Principal whistleblower Ben Luy on Wednesday asked the anti-graft court not to allow the defense team from accessing his computer hard drive which contains documents of lawmakers’ alleged transactions with bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in the pork barrel scam.

Luy, the primary witness in Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s plunder case before the First Division of Sandiganbayan, asked the magistrates to block the motion of the defense.

He said the defense should only be limited to 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.

He identified only the six documents in his hard disk files namely; Files contained in the “JLN Disbursement” folder; 2009-NGO, Company, Interest-Bank Balance Update.xls; 2010-NGO, Company, Interest-BankBalance Update.xls; JLN Cash Disbursement.xls; 2010 JLN Cash Disbursement.xls; and 15_Disbursement.

Luy, the cousin and former employee of businesswoman and suspected 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 motion, he asserted that providing the defense a full copy of all files in his hard rive is unnecessary, and may jeopardize other pork-related cases.

He also invoked 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 reads.

He also reminded the anti-graft court that other pork barrel cases which 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 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 further explained.

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 stressed in his motion.

Also facing plunder and graft cases at the Sandiganbayan aside from Napoles and Revilla are Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada and other government officials.