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Gigi Reyes complained her kickback short of P500K, witness tells court

/ 02:45 PM January 27, 2016
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The Sandiganbayan Third Division started hearing the plunder trial of lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes and her co-accused Janet Lim Napoles in connection with their involvement in the pork barrel scam.
MARLON RAMOS / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The former chief of staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile once complained that her kickback was P500,000 short of what was promised to her, a witness told the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday.

Testifying during the third day of Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes’ plunder trial over the alleged pork barrel scam, Marina Sula told the court that Reyes received her share of kickbacks from alleged agent Ruby Tuason.

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READ: WHAT WENT BEFORE

Sula, a property custodian for accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles’ corporation, said she once helped Napoles’ finance officer Benhur Luy put money into a box to be received by Tuason.

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“I helped Benhur Luy put the money into a box… Binigay ni Benhur kay Madame Ruby Tuason (Benhur gave it to Madame Ruby Tuason),” Sula said, although she said she could not recall the amount.

She added that after Tuason received the money, the latter complained that the money intended for Reyes was short of P500,000.

“Nagreklamo si Ruby Tuason. The money is short of P500,000… Sabi ni Ms. Ruby Tuason, kulang ng P500,000 ito, reklamo ni Miss Gigi,” Sula said.

(Ruby Tuason complained. The money is short of P500,000. Ms. Ruby Tuason said that the amount is short of P500,000 as complained by Miss Gigi.)

Napoles broke down into tears when she heard Sula’s testimony.

Meanwhile, an angry-looking Reyes leaned forward stern-faced upon hearing her name in the witness’ testimony.

Sula said one box could contain as much as P3 million or at least 30 bundles of P1000 and P500 bills.

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Sula earlier told the same court in her Nov. 2014 testimony for Napoles’ bail hearing that Tuason went back to Napoles’ office complaining that Reyes’ kickbacks were short of cash.

Then, Napoles then called Sula and Luy to recount the money and they did determine that Reyes’ kickbacks were indeed short, Sula said.

However, Sula said she did not see Tuason personally hand the money to Reyes.

Enrile is accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from Napoles through his alleged agents Tuason and Reyes.

Enrile is out on bail from hospital detention after the Supreme Court considered his petition citing his advanced age and political stature.

READ: While Enrile runs free, Napoles denied bail over ‘pork’ scam
While Enrile was granted bail, Reyes is detained at the female dormitory of the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig pending her plunder trial.

In denying the bail of Napoles, the Sandiganbayan in its resolution had taken credence in witness Tuason’s testimony and said Reyes received the kickbacks from Napoles although there is still no evidence Enrile directly benefited from it.

Tuason is the self-confessed agent of Enrile who allegedly met up with Reyes to deliver Enrile’s kickbacks.

READ: There’s compelling evidence Reyes received Enrile kickbacks–Sandigan

Reyes, Enrile’s former no-nonsense chief of staff, had been romantically linked to Enrile. She is considered the 25th senator due to the influence she wields in the Senate. RAM

READ: In The Know: Rumors linking Enrile to Gigi Reyes started in 1998

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TAGS: bail, court, Gigi Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, Kickback, Plunder, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Witness
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