Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
MANILA, Philippines–The former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile embroiled in the P10-billion pork barrel scam has come back to the Philippines to finally face her plunder charges.
Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes arrived in the country from San Francisco at about 4 a.m aboard Philippine Airlines with Flight No. PR105 on Saturday, according to the Bureau of Immigration’s information office.
Her brother Patrick confirmed this in a text message to INQUIRER.net, saying, “Yes, she’s back”.
When asked whether her sister would testify on the “pork barrel” scam, Patrick said: “I’m in no position to comment on that. I hope you understand. Thank you.”
Reyes, who is facing a complaint for plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman for her alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, is the subject of the government’s Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO). She left in August 2013 at the height of the investigation into the controversy.
“I’m facing the charges. I’ve always faced it,” Reyes was quoted as saying in an interview earlier on Saturday.
Reyes’ co-respondents are detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, Enrile and Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. in connection with the scam.
In January 2013, 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.
Amid reports that Enrile had an affair with Reyes, the senator denied his relationship with his staff about 30 years his junior.
In an INQUIRER.net report, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago urged Reyes to return to the country and take revenge against her boss by turning as a state witness.
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