Prosecutors oppose Gigi Reyes appeal to dismiss plunder rap over pork scam
MANILA — State prosecutors have opposed the appeal of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s chief of staff Jessica Lucila Reyes for the dismissal of her P172.83-million plunder case.
In a 25-page opposition, the Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor said Reyes only raised “nothing more but mere reiterations and rehashes” of the issues she already posed in her motion to quash the charge sheet for being defective and vague.
The Sandiganbayan First Division denied her motion on Jan. 3, because the Supreme Court’s order for the prosecution to clarify the Enrile case through a bill of particulars “presupposes a valid Information… albeit under vague terms.”
The said resolution also pointed out that Reyes did not join Enrile’s petition before the Supreme Court and thus could not question the bill of particulars submitted there by prosecutors. It also said it was too late for Reyes to seek even more particularity in the plunder allegations, because she was already arraigned.
Fighting Reyes’ appeal, the prosecution reiterated that she should have filed her motion to quash before her July 2014 arraignment.
“By allowing herself to be arraigned without pointing out the supposed defects in the Information against her, accused Reyes is now deemed to have waived her right to raise them at this juncture of the proceedings,” it read.
Prosecutors added that Reyes could not use the purportedly still-vague bill of particulars granted to Enrile to question the indictment, citing the high court’s pronouncement on the presumption of the case’s validity.
The opposition also argued that the allegation that Reyes conspired with the other accused was in itself enough to fulfill the requirements for a case under Republic Act No. 7080, or the plunder law.
Since she was charged in a conspiracy to acquire ill-gotten wealth, the opposition stated: “There is no need to particularize the actor of each and every over[t] act.”
Prosecutors also called as “misguided” the claim by Reyes that they had no basis to file a plunder case because it involved private funds coming from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The opposition stressed that the plunder law did not make any distinction regarding whether the source of the kickbacks was public or private. It stated that the law “merely provides that the ill-gotten wealth was acquired through any combination or series of over[t] acts.”
Reyes remains detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Taguig City. SFM
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