Enrile comes to coaccused Gigi Reyes’ rescue | Inquirer News
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Enrile comes to coaccused Gigi Reyes’ rescue

‘SC ruling will benefit my chief of staff, too’
/ 01:01 AM August 26, 2015
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes (at right). COMPOSITE: BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP AND RAFFY LERMA FILE PHOTOS

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes (at right). COMPOSITE: BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP AND RAFFY LERMA FILE PHOTOS

Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, once called the “25th senator,” may still be detained in a female jail cell, but she hasn’t been abandoned.

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on Tuesday said he expected his former chief of staff to benefit from the Supreme Court ruling granting his motion for a bill of particulars in connection with his plunder case stemming from allegations he pocketed P172 million in kickbacks from his pork barrel allocations.

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Enrile disputed the statements of Levito Baligod, a private complainant in the alleged P10-billion racket, that the favorable decisions the former Senate President had won from the high tribunal would leave Reyes “holding the bag.”

The senator pointed out that he and Reyes were coaccused under the same plunder complaint arising from the alleged diversion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, to ghost projects and fake foundations in schemes planned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

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“The action of the Supreme Court regarding the bill of particulars must benefit Attorney Reyes as well,” he said in a statement.

Baligod earlier said Enrile’s motion for a bill of particulars was intended to underscore the fact that Reyes would be made principally liable for the plunder case, as allegations showed that it was she who supposedly received the kickbacks.

A motion for a bill of particulars is filed to allow a defendant to get more details of the crime he was alleged to have committed.

Like Enrile, Reyes had also declined to enter a plea on her plunder charge, on the ground that her right to due process was supposedly denied, the senator noted.

“The grant of the motion for a bill of particulars shows that apart from the fact that she was denied due process, the charges against her and against us were defective and unsubstantiated,” Enrile said.

‘Discredited lawyer’

Enrile also derided Baligod, saying he was a “discredited lawyer who was dropped” by Benhur Luy, a former finance officer of Napoles who has turned state witness in the plunder case.

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After the Supreme Court granted the 91-year-old Enrile’s plea for a bill of particulars, it gave the nod to his petition for bail on humanitarian grounds—his frail health, his age and his voluntary surrender. Enrile had been on hospital arrest before he was temporarily released on P1.4-million bail last week while his case is being tried in the Sandiganbayan.

Also accused in separate counts of plunder charges in connection with the PDAF scam are Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla who remain detained. Napoles, who is in jail for the alleged serious detention of Luy, is also a coaccused in the plunder cases.

Reyes, who surrendered to the Sandiganbayan on July 4 last year, is detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology female dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

Days after her surrender, Reyes filed in the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition, in which she claimed that the plunder and graft charges against her lacked probable cause.

Disappeared for 8 months

Citing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or in excess of jurisdiction, Reyes asked the high court to nullify and set aside the Sandiganbayan resolutions, which adopted the Ombudsman’s indictment of Reyes for plunder and 15 counts of violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).

The 52-year-old Reyes had disappeared for eight months after the pork barrel scandal broke out. She returned home on April 19 last year on a flight from San Francisco to face the plunder charges against her.

A lawyer, Reyes worked for Enrile during his two terms as senator—from July 1995 to June 2001 and from 2004 to January 2013—when she resigned after publicly accusing in a radio interview that Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was a “hypocrite” for criticizing Enrile’s alleged uneven distribution of the senators’ Christmas bonuses.

Before her resignation, Reyes was widely regarded as the “25th senator” for her purported influence in the Senate as a stern, no-nonsense aide to Enrile. Reyes has sought to downplay her role in Enrile’s office. She claimed to merely represent Enrile in meetings and conferences.

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SC’s grant of bill of particulars motion to favor coaccused Gigi Reyes too, says Enrile

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TAGS: Bill of Particulars, Gigi Reyes, Jessica Lucila Reyes, Juan Ponce Enrile, Levito Baligod, plunder case, Supreme Court
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