Prosecution blocks motion to open Luy’s bank records

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE camp of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy blocked Thursday the move to open his bank records following a motion filed by the legal team of Janet Napoles, the scam's alleged mastermind.

Luy's legal counsel Martin Antero, during the bail hearing of Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. at the Sandiganbayan first division, vowed to file a motion to quash a subpoena ordering local banks to testify on the bank records of Luy as requested by Napoles' lawyer Stephen David.

"Plunder is about the amassing ill-gotten wealth on the part of the accused. Our client [Luy] is not the accused here. In the interest of fairness and due process, we will file a motion to quash," Antero told the court.

At least four bank representatives appeared Thursday in compliance with the subpoena issued by first division against the bank accounts of Luy.

Napoles and Revilla together with Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile are principal accused in separate plunder and multiple counts of graft cases in connection with the alleged misuse of the lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The prosecution will be joining Luy in opposing the move.

"We will also be filing motion to quash, Your Honors, because he [Luy] is not the one accused here. The defense is just fishing [for evidence]," said prosecutor Joefferson Torribio.

In compliance with the subpoena issued to the banks, representatives from Banco De Oro (BDO), Metrobank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) appeared at the hearing but registered their opposition to the opening of Luy's bank records.

"While we are here to comply with the subpoena, we will file a motion to quash because the subpoena is very broad, Your Honors. It asks about the bank history [of our client]. We want to know first what these specific documents are, covering a certain period, that would be relevant to the case," lawyer Brian San Juan of Metrobank said.

The opposition made by San Juan was adopted by the BDO, UCPB and BPI's representatives, stressing that they need a more particular description of the documents that Napoles' camp wants to unearth.

David said the need to open Luy's bank accounts after admitting being the financial officer of Napoles' JLN Corporation and/or bogus nongovernment entities.

"We want to know where the PDAF went," David said.

But David failed to address the challenge made by bank executives for him to identify the bank records that may lead to pork barrel transactions.

"To be candid about it, we don't know the document but we are sure there is something in the bank records or Mr. Luy," David said.

The anti-graft court gave the concerned parties three days to file their motions to quash the subpoena and their corresponding comments.

Napoles camp was given three days to comment on the motions. (Sunnex)

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