Enrile hit for delaying plunder trial over pork barrel scam
State prosecutors have opposed the motion of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to drop his plunder case over the pork barrel scam, accusing the defense of delaying his trial.
In its comment opposition filed before the Sandiganbayan Third Division, the Office of the Special Prosecutor asked the court to dismiss for lack of merit Enrile’s motion to dismiss or quash his plunder case as he faces trial.
The prosecution said Enrile is misleading the court with “self-serving” interpretations of jurisprudence.
“At the onset, the prosecution just wants to express its observation that accused Enrile has seemingly adopted a strategy of inundating this Honorable Court with groundless and unmeritorious motion(s) that do nothing but delay his trial,” the prosecution said.
The prosecution said the court should dismiss Enrile’s latest motion because it has “no basis in law” and “is anchored on grossly misleading and self-serving interpretations of jurisprudence.”
The prosecution maintained that Enrile’s plunder information and the subsequent bill of particulars the prosecution provided to Enrile were more than sufficient to establish the charge of plunder.
“(T)here is no doubt that the information, now supplemented by the Bill of Particulars, mustered enough allegations of ultimate facts legally sufficient to charge the offense of plunder,” the prosecution said.
In his motion, Enrile through his lawyers, said that after the prosecutors submitted the bill of particulars since the Supreme Court granted his motion, the charge sheet only became “more glaringly insufficient as it becomes more evident that it failed to charge the offense of plunder.”
“It has now become clear that the reason the prosecutors could not provide the details and particulars of the overt acts constituting the crime of plunder is simply because they do not have such details,” Enrile said in his 67-page motion.
Enrile said the prosecution submitted a table listing his alleged kickbacks according to principal whistleblower Benhur Luy’s ledger, but the latter failed to prove he received the alleged commission.
“No project description. No implementing agency. No non-government organization. And Enrile is expected to defend against these blank spaces, or else be imprisoned for life?” the motion read.
Enrile said the prosecution failed to give particulars on the plunder charge to prove that the former senator enriched himself in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) projects.
“Indeed, the prosecution has been dilly-dallying, even feigning compliance, since it fully knows that it cannot possibly ‘particularize’ a non-existent charge for plunder,” according to the motion.
Enrile is accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles through his former chief of staff and alleged agent Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes.
He is out on bail from hospital detention after the Supreme Court considered his petition, citing his advanced age and political stature.
While Enrile is out on bail, Reyes remains detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig pending her plunder trial. RAM/rga
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