Logo
Print this page

PDAF SCANDAL

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Sandiganbayan junks bail plea of Enrile's former chief of staff

 

(Photo from ABS-CBN News)

 

QUEZON CITY — The Sandiganbayan has denied the bail petition of plunder accused lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, chief of staff of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, citing the existence of strong evidence against her.

 

The decision stressed there is no reason to release Reyes on bail in light of solid evidence against her based on the documents and the testimonies of prosecution witnesses that were presented during the bail hearing which reportedly angered Enrile.

 

In a television interview, Enrile,  94, reportedly cursed after hearing the anti-graft court's decision.

 

"What kind of justice do we have in this country. Sayang lang 'yung ginawa namin nang magrebolusyon kami para tumino 'yung bansa na ito. P*tang *na," the former lawmaker said referring to the 1986 People Power Revolution.

 

Enrile insisted that his former aide is innocent, and added some of those accusing them have already changed their stories, according to an ABS-CBN report. 

 

"I think that is an unfortunate decision because Atty. Gigi Reyes is innocent of the charges against her. The charges that were filed against us are all based on fabricated evidence," he said

 

“Since plunder is a capital offense, the grant of bail is therefore discretionary and not a matter of right. In view of the foregoing, this Court finds the evidence against accused-movant Reyes to be strong,” stated the Sandiganbayan third division ruling penned by Associate Justice Bernelito R. Fernandez with Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Sarah Jane T. Fernandez concurring.

 

Reyes is accused of conspiring and facilitating with Enrile, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and long-time Napoles employees Ronald John Lim and Raymund de Asis in allegedly defrauding the government of P172,834,500 representing kickbacks siphoned off from the senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

 

Enrile was released temporarily from detention by the Supreme Court on humanitarian grounds.

 

The anti-graft court rejected the argument of Reyes that the testimonies of whistleblowers Marina Sula, Merline Suñas, Benhur Luy, and Ruby Tuason as well as that of Commission on Audit (CoA) Director Susan Garcia were weak to determine her alleged participation in the plunder case.

 

The ruling stated the testimonies of the whistleblowers should be considered even if Luy, Sula, and Suñas acknowledged that they did not personally meet Reyes in relation to PDAF transactions.

 

“With the detailed testimonies of the whistleblowers on how the entire scheme took place and despite the extensive cross-examination conducted on them, their testimonies remain trustworthy,” said the ruling.

 

The magistrates said that the testimony of Tuason that she allegedly personally delivered kickbacks to Reyes damaged her defense.

 

“This Court …took exceptional note of her (Tuason’s) confirmations that she made deliveries of kickbacks to accused-movant Reyes in the years 2006 to 2009 and that she made these deliveries in coffee shops and restaurants and sometimes in the house of accused-movant Reyes,” stated the Sandigabayan.

 

“Since plunder is a capital offense, the grant of bail is therefore discretionary and not a matter of right. In view of the foregoing, this Court finds the evidence against accused-movant Reyes to be strong,” the anti-graft division stated.

Thelma Cruz

Latest from Thelma Cruz

Copyrighted for Philippines Today Tel: (650) 872-3200. Website developed by: SP3Media.com