Detained Gigi Reyes: Delay in pork scam trial to hurt me most
MANILA — The chief of staff of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has hit back at the Office of the Ombudsman for insinuating that she has been resorting to delaying tactics, when she is the one whose detention would be prolonged.
Reyes, in a 36-page reply dated July 3, took exception to the prosecution’s arguments in its opposition to her motion for the inhibition of Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang from her plunder case.
“The Prosecution has not alleged, moreso established, any benefit which accused Reyes will gain in delaying the case, considering that she has been, and still is, under detention for the past three years,” the reply read.
Reyes had first sought Tang’s recusal on June 9, accusing her of committing grave abuse of discretion and cherry-picking jurisprudence to justify the Third Division’s January denial of her motion to quash the case.
She also accused Tang of depriving her of due process when it issued findings regarding her culpability in the scam in resolving the bail proceedings that only involved alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Just a few weeks before on May 26, Enrile sought Tang’s recusal from their plunder case. Unlike Reyes who assailed the way Tang issued her resolutions, Enrile’s concerns had to do with the justice’s alleged undue haste as well as the possible influence arising from her appointment by President Benigno Aquino III.
Under the internal rules of the Sandiganbayan, the chairperson’s inhibition would lead to reraffling of the plunder case to another division.
Enrile and Reyes were charged with receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks in exchange for diverting the senior lawmaker’s Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to dubious foundations linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. SFM