Gigi Reyes seeks SC help on plunder case
MANILA, Philippines–Lawyer Jessica Lucila Reyes, former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile asked the Supreme Court to nullify the finding of probable cause by the Ombudsman that led to the filing of plunder case against her, Enrile, Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and several others in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
In her 81-page petition, Reyes through her counsel Anacleto Diaz, asked the high court to stop the Ombudsman from pursuing the case against them.
Reyes said her right to due process was violated because the complaint was filed with the Sandiganbayan without providing her with copies of affidavits, transcripts of hearings, statements she needed to rebut the allegation against her.
She said she was never furnished with a copy of Ruby Tuason’s affidavit where she was mentioned as the one receiving the alleged kickback for Enrile.
“Thus, the joint resolution of the Ombudsman, dated March 28, 2014, as against petitioner is void and tainted with nullity. For, as held by the Supreme Court, a denial of procedural due process is a grave jurisdictional defect which renders the judgment void,” Reyes stressed.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales issued on March 28, 2014 a joint resolution indicting Reyes, Enrile, Senators Ramong “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and several other lawmakers and individuals for the crimes of plunder and violation of the provisions of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
Last week, the Ombudsman denied the respondents’ motions for reconsideration, paving the way for the filing of the charges before the anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan.
Reyes also accused the Ombudsman of engaging in an “unfair and unequal enforcement of the law” when she granted Tuason and the other alleged whistleblowers immunity from prosecution which violated her right to equal protection of the law.
Reyes also said Morales disregarded Section 17 Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure when she gave Tuason and the other whistleblowers immunity from prosecution even if they appear to be among the most guilty.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.