Gigi Reyes: My role in P10-B scam was not crucial
AT BEST she could only be considered an accessory and not a conspirator in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, according to Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is on trial for plunder.
Even if she did receive pork barrel funds as alleged, Reyes said her role was neither necessary nor indispensable in the wide-ranging scheme concocted allegedly by Janet Lim Napoles in cahoots with legislators.
“Negligence and connivance are two different things.
Connivance is a deliberate act and cannot arise from negligence,” according to the 60-page motion to quash her case that her lawyer filed before the Sandiganbayan on June 23.
“Simply because an individual has mistakenly done what is expected of him or her does not necessarily mean that he or she was animated by some dishonest or fraudulent purpose,” the motion said.
The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division heard Reyes’ motion on Wednesday and gave the prosecution 15 days to respond.
The 53-year-old Reyes, who is detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, said the prosecution had failed to establish that it was through her actions that Napoles was able to obtain millions of pesos from lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations or pork barrel.
“The processing of PDAF funds passed through several stages which did not involve accused Reyes at all and without which accused Napoles would not have been able to obtain possession of the funds and dispose of the same,” the motion pointed out.
Reyes, along with Enrile, are among dozens of public officials and private individuals accused of conniving with each other to divert congressional PDAF to ghost projects by fake foundations set up by Napoles.
Standing trial for graft and plunder, Reyes is one of the principals accused in one case of embezzling P172 million in pork barrel funds.
Enrile, her coaccused who spent more than a year under hospital arrest at Camp Crame, secured his temporary liberty after the Supreme Court granted him bail on humanitarian grounds last December.
The court also granted his petition for a bill of particulars, allowing the 90-year-old senator to temporarily skip trial until the government prosecutors provide that list of specific allegations and evidence linking him to the scam.
Detained since 2014
Reyes, on the other hand, has been detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility since July 2014.
In her motion, she argued that the alleged acts she is accused of were not enough to constitute the crime of plunder.
“The general rule is that a conspiracy is over once all the objectives of the agreement have been successfully accomplished,” she said. “Assuming for the sake of argument, therefore, that accused Reyes received PDAF funds given by accused Napoles to Ms [Ruby] Tuason, that would at best make accused Reyes a mere accessory to the crime charged,” her motion said.
Tuason, former social secretary of ousted President Joseph Estrada, turned state witness in the case.
Reyes noted that the whistle-blowers did not consider her participation in the scam to be major.
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