Luy's lawyer says these files are confidential
MANILA (UPDATED) - The camp of of the primary whistleblower in the "pork barrel scam," Benhur Luy, has kept mum on the so-called "deleted files" in his external hard drive which has gone public after it was surrendered to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Atty. Raji Mendoza, Luy's counsel, stressed that the drive, which contains Luy's "accounting records" in connection with the scam, is part of evidence submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman, and should be considered confidential.
"The HDD [hard disk drive] contains information that is subject of an ongoing fact-finding investigation in the Office of the Ombudsman, hence confidential.
"We can neither confirm nor deny the alleged deleted files," Mendoza said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), through Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, had urged the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee not to make public the contents of the drive as well as the affidavits of alleged "pork barrel" scam architect Janet Lim Napoles, since these form part of legal proceedings before the anti-graft office.
The Blue Ribbon has refused to heed the call.
Under Rule V, Sec 2, of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman (Administrative Order No. 07), public disclosures of matters concerning cases filed with the Ombudsman must be subject to the discretion of the office, and only upon finality of the decisions and resolutions on these cases.
This rule is not only for the interest of fair play, but also to ensure the safety of witnesses.
"When circumstances so warrant and with due process, the Office of the Ombudsman may publicize in a fair and balanced manner the filing of a complaint, grievance or request for assistance, and the final resolution, decision or action taken thereon: provided, however, that prior to such final action, no publicity shall be made of matters which may adversely affect national security or public interest, prejudice the safety of witnesses or the disposition of the case, or unduly expose persons complained against to ridicule or public censure," the rule reads.
Mendoza stressed that Luy will only clarify matters concerning the "deleted files" before a proper court.
"Benhur will address the issues in a court of law in due time," Mendoza said.
The files in question allegedly contain information on the following code names: "Tanda," "Pogi," "Sexy," "Commission on Appointments," "Marcos," "Sotto," "Ochoa," and "Pinoy Requests."