Palace expects Gigi Reyes to tell all on pork scam
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday said it expects Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the former aide of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, to divulge what she knows about the “pork barrel scam.”
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace expects full participation from all government officials and employees named in the Office of the Ombudsman’s resolution over the pork barrel scam, an allegedly elaborate scheme of diverting the now defunct Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to bogus organizations for kickbacks.
Coloma specifically named Reyes, who arrived in Manila early Saturday after being abroad in the course of the pork scam investigation. Reyes was accused of being the middleperson of Senator Enrile with Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the scam.
“All government officials and employees… including Atty. Reyes… are accountable for their actions, and are expected to fully disclose what they know,” Coloma said in a statement.
“Their willingness to shed light on the ongoing legal proceedings is vital to our people’s request for justice,” he added.
Responding to a petition filed by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice on the scam, the Ombudsman on March 28 ruled that there was enough basis to hold Senators Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, Napoles, Reyes, and several others criminally liable for plunder and graft in connection with the alleged illegal disbursements of the PDAF.
Reyes, who served Enrile “with full dedication, honesty and loyalty” for 25 years, resigned in January 2013 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.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had urged Reyes to return to the country and take revenge against her boss by turning as a state witness.
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