Gigi Reyes seeks quashal of pork barrel scam plunder rap
Detained chief of staff Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes has sought to quash the plunder charge against her in connection with her alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
In her motion to quash, Reyes, the chief of staff of principal accused Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, asked the court to quash the plunder information against her over the failure of the prosecution to prove that the facts of the case constitute the non-bailable offense of plunder.
Reyes, who is detained for two years now after the filing of the information in June 2014, said the bill of particulars submitted by the prosecution failed to prove that the alleged offense against her constitutes plunder.
Reyes through her lawyers said the bill of particulars, which stated that Enrile committed plunder with Reyes or his deputy chief of staff Antonio Evangelista (charged with graft), only made the information more confusing.
“The Bill of Particulars has made a judicially-declared vague and nebulous Information even more confusing, and the problematic task of preparing the corresponding refuting evidence doubly difficult,” her motion read.
The prosecution even included in the bill of particulars six special allotment release orders (Saro) not even included in the complaint by the National Bureau of Investigation and not subject of the preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman.
“The inclusion of the new Saros… is a violation of accused Reyes’ right to due process of law, as she was not afforded any opportunity to controvert and dispute these new allegations with countervailing evidence during the preliminary investigation,” her motion said.
Reyes through her lawyers also said the accusations by state witness Ruby Tuason that she was the one who delivered the kickbacks for Enrile to Reyes were unfounded.
Reyes said Tuason in her testimony failed to specifically state the details of the alleged delivery of kickbacks to Reyes—the amount and the corresponding dates of deliveries, the breakdown of alleged kickbacks, the projects funded by the pork barrel Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) from which the kickbacks were obtained, as well as the spurious foundations owned by accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles which were used to implement the ghost projects for kickbacks.
Tuason in her testimony also failed to provide a breakdown on how the purported kickbacks for Enrile and Reyes at P172,834,500 were computed.
“The sworn statements and testimony of Ms. Ruby Tuason, who is the prosecution’s sole eyewitness… do not contain material and necessary details regarding the alleged delivery by Ms. Tuason of monies, kickbacks and commissions of Senator Enrile for PDAF projects to accused Reyes,” her motion read.
“(D)uring the bail hearings of co-accused Napoles, (Tuason) did not give any particulars of these various sums which she claims she gave accused Reyes,” it added.
Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy, who was Napoles’ finance officer, also did not mention Reyes in his daily disbursement record as among those who received kickbacks from Napoles, Reyes said.
Reyes also said the prosecution’s admission of evidence showed that she had never transacted with Napoles or any of her employees regarding Enrile’s pork barrel projects and had no role in the signing of letters endorsing Napoles’ bogus foundations to implement Enrile’s projects.
Reyes said her endorsement of Evangelista as Enrile’s authorized representative in connection with the implementation of his PDAF projects could not be considered as an act of conspiracy in perpetuating the scam.
“Accused Reyes thus respectfully implores that the information be quashed upon the ground that based on allegations set forth herein as particularized by the Bill of Particulars… the facts charged do not constitute the offense imputed to accused Reyes,” her motion said.
Enrile is accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from Napoles through his alleged agents Tuason and Reyes.
While Enrile was granted bail by the Supreme Court on humanitarian grounds, Reyes is detained at the female dormitory of the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig pending her plunder trial.
Tuason, who turned herself in as state witness, has pinned Reyes as the one who received from her Enrile’s share in the alleged scheme of pillaging lawmakers’ PDAF for kickbacks.
Another witness Marina Sula told the court that Reyes once complained her kickbacks from the scam were short of P500,000. RAM
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