Sandigan denies Jinggoy Estrada bid to pry into Luy hard drive | Inquirer News
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Sandigan denies Jinggoy Estrada bid to pry into Luy hard drive

/ 07:15 PM March 06, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has denied detained Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s bid to pry into principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy’s hard drive, which contained files detailing transactions with lawmakers for kickbacks on the pork barrel scam.

In a resolution, the antigraft court junked Estrada’s motion for production of evidence, particularly on the hard drive where Luy stored Excel files and template documents pertaining to the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) transactions.

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The court said Estrada’s request to access Luy’s drive is too broad, contrary to what is required under jurisdiction to be more specific in a request for production of evidence.

The court also said Estrada cannot be allowed to look into the drive as a “fishing” expedition to bolster his defense in the plunder case, especially as he failed to establish materiality in his request.

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“Estrada’s motion for production of the external hard drive is just too broad, having failed to designate the items he seeks to examine, and thus has not convinced this Court of the good cause to grant it,” the resolution said.

“Materiality must be established first before the request for production is granted. This order cannot be reversed, which would be the case if Estrada is granted unfettered access to the external hard drive to fish out evidence that he may subsequently deem material to his defense,” it added.

Detained for plunder at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, Estrada had also requested for access to the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) minutes of meetings pertaining to the hard drive, all reports on the NBI’s custody of the hard drive, list of persons who had access to the hard drive since it was placed under NBI’s protection, and a record of all activities wherein the hard drive was examined.

But the court said “there is no indication that these files even exist.”

The court also denied Estrada’s motion for production of all the documents, papers and other exhibits that the prosecution intends to use in the testimonies of the remaining witnesses.

The court said the motion is “too broad” and “aimless,” causing the court difficulty in determining the materiality of a “plethora of nameless documents.”

The court also reminded the prosecution to furnish Estrada’s camp with the documents stipulated as evidence so the detained senator need not file motions to produce evidence.

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“The motion for production would not have been resorted to by Estrada if only the prosecution remained candid enough to furnish the defense with copies of said documents…” the resolution read.

Estrada is accused of raking in kickbacks by coursing his PDAF projects to the bogus foundations of accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

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TAGS: Benhur Luy, Janet Lim Napoles, Jinggoy Estrada, pork barrel scan
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