DOJ seeks Ombudsman's advice on Luy hard drive

Posted at 05/21/14 11:37 AM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will consult with the Office of the Ombudsman on the Senate's subpoena for Benhur Luy to surrender to the Blue Ribbon Committee a hard drive of his so-called accounting records in connection with the "pork barrel" scam.

The committee gave Luy, former trusted aide of alleged "pork barrel" scam queen architect Janet Lim Napoles, up to today, Wednesday, to surrender the drive.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said there is a need to refer the subpoena to the Ombudsman because the data in the hard drive form part of the evidence in ongoing proceedings involving cases filed with the anti-graft body against several lawmakers and other personalities in connection with the anomaly.

De Lima further said that such data are still part of ongoing fact-finding investigations by the NBI and the Ombudsman's Field Investigation Office (FIO).

"Yan ang posisyon sa ngayon, pero titingnan namin kung ano ang final [decision] after we refer the matter to the Ombudsman," De Lima said.

The justice chief, meantime, reiterated her plea against immediately making public Napoles' affidavits which are set to be submitted anytime now to the Senate.

De Lima said doing so would lead to a "messy" situation which will "not be good" for public interest. She stressed that it will be more prudent to first complete the vetting and evaluation process being conducted by the NBI on Napoles' claims.

The DOJ has up to tomorrow, Thursday, to submit Napoles' affidavits to the Blue Ribbon Committee; the affidavits are expected to detail the participation of lawmakers and other individuals in the scam.

Napoles, however, in an unsigned affidavit, stressed that she was merely giving commissions to lawmakers for allocating portions of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to her NGOs.

Napoles had stressed that she did nothing illegal.