What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile has repeatedly denied having a personal relationship with his former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes.
In January last year, Reyes, who served Enrile “with full dedication, honesty and loyalty” for 25 years, resigned following the controversial distribution of cash gifts billed as additional maintenance and other operating expenses to senators.
As chief aide, Reyes signed checks in millions of pesos on behalf of the senator and issued memos to Senate functionaries involving the funds of the chamber.
In the same month, Enrile addressed in an early morning talk show the insinuation made by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano that Reyes had an unusual influence in the Senate.
“I leave my things to her and nothing will happen. I have poor (eye) sight because I am suffering from macular degeneration and because of the details that come into my office, she is the one doing this reading for me,” Enrile said.
“So, if they are implying that she is my girlfriend, well, I am too old for that. My God!” he said.
Enrile previously denied having an affair with Reyes, about 30 years his junior. She left the country in August last year. A month later, she was charged with plunder in the Office of the Ombudsman, along with Janet Lim-Napoles, Enrile and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. in connection with the scam.
A Chicago Tribune report in 1998 said that Cristina had left Enrile following an adultery charge. Reyes was reported to be the “other woman.”
“I thought I had the love of my wife in my pocket, only to be told in the early part of December that she didn’t love me anymore,” Enrile later told the Inquirer. “It was a jolt. I’ve never loved another woman other than my wife.”
Enrile said that the rumor about Reyes was just part of an “incidental trigger” to dissolve his marriage and described Reyes as someone who fits his concept of a subordinate and shared the same mannerisms and style. They were both straightforward, he said.
The two met after Reyes obtained her law degree from the University of the Philippines in 1988 and joined the law firm of Pecabar (Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Reyes, Manalastas).
Enrile tagged as concoctions blind items in newspapers about Cristina finding him and Reyes in bed and being caught in the act in the hospital.—Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives
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