THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)’s forensic examiner on Tuesday told the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division that it is highly unlikely the files from the external hard drive of pork barrel scam witness Benhur Luy were modified.
Special Investigator III Dario Sabilano of the NBI’s Cybercrime Division continued his testimony before the anti-graft court during a hearing on Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada’s bail petition.
“It could be highly improbable to change the files created one by one. It’s a very tedious process,” said Sabilano, who is testifying as an expert witness for the prosecution.
He was responding to Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Jedd Boco’s question on how probable it was that the files were altered.
The defense, however, reiterated its position that the files in Luy’s external hard drive were not reliable.
“We believe [that]the files in the hard drive given by Benhur Luy to the NBI were tampered with. The entries therein are not reliable and credible because the data can be amended and edited by any other person,” one of Estrada’s lawyers, Alexis Abastillas-Suarez, told reporters after the hearing.
Sabilano earlier conducted a forensic examination on the external hard drive, which contains daily disbursements Luy recorded as finance officer of JLN Corporation.
JLN stands for Janet Lim-Napoles.
Luy stated that in 2010, he made a backup copy of disbursement reports when their office upgraded the computers to iMac.
There might have been revisions regarding some files, according to Sabilano, but these were made before the external hard drive was turned over to the NBI’s Cybercrime Division on January 27, 2014.
He said, “(This) means [that]there are no changes made in the revised files after the turnover.”
Sabilano added that the metadata in the external hard drive in connection with the date of the files’ creation were “very reliable,” citing two files – “disbursement for January 4, 2010” and “disbursement for September 4, 2004.”
“If you would look at the creation dates of these files, it appears that they were created on January 4, 2010 and September 4, 2004,” he said.
Sabilano, however, did not rule out the possibility of file modification.
Upon questioning by Estrada’s lawyer Paul Mar Arias, the forensic examiner said that metadata could be tampered if one is equipped with computer software that could perform file alterations.
Estrada is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame over a P183-million plunder case in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.