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'Jinggoy' asks Sandigan to strip Luy of immunity.

Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has asked the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to nullify Benhur Luy's immunity from criminal prosecution, claiming the "pork barrel" scam whistleblower as being one of the persons most guilty in the case.

In his latest motion submitted before the Fifth Division, the senator's lawyers prayed that the court "review the grant of immunity to Mr. Luy by the Office of the Ombudsman and, based on the evidence so far adduced, nullify such grant of immunity."

Citing the testimonies the whistleblower made, the lawyers pointed out that Luy admitted organizing the non-government organizations (NGOs) where the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of lawmakers were diverted, coordinated with the implementing agencies where the PDAF were allocated, dealt with middlemen, falsified documents, and disbursed funds to lawmakers.

With this, the lawyers stressed that this "affords no conclusion other than that Mr. Luy appears to be among those most guilty of the supposed crime charged in the instant case."

The lawyers explained that under the terms of Section 17 of Republc Act No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act) provisions in the Rules of Court should be considered in determining who should be given immunity.

The counsels said that Sec. 17, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court already indicate that an accused can be granted immunity if he "does not appear to be the most guilty." (Jeffrey G. Damicog)



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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Nov 3, 2014
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