Gov’t lawyers oppose Enrile’s ‘rehashed’ appeal
State prosecutors opposed the appeal of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile in the dismissal of his bid to quash his plunder case, scoring the accused for repeating the arguments in his dismissed motion.
In its comment opposition filed before the Sandiganbayan Third Division, the Office of the Special Prosecutor said Enrile’s motion for reconsideration was a mere rehash and a shortened version of his motion to quash his plunder case previously junked by the anti-graft court.
Prosecutors said Enrile’s appeal does not deserve the court’s consideration being “mere repetitions of the arguments he extensively propounded in his Motion to Quash.”
“It is notable that the present 20-page motion is a ‘summary’ of the 70-page motion to dismiss/quash the information dated Sept. 21 2016 earlier filed by accused Enrile… Thus, the present motion deserves no more than a scant consideration by the Honorable Court,” the prosecutors said.
The prosecution cited the Rules of Court which “abhor repetitive motions” that only intend to delay the prosecution of the case, thus putting “no end to preliminary objections.”
“Repetitive motions to invalidate or summarily terminate a criminal indictment prior to plea and trial .. delay the administration of justice and unduly burden the court system,” the prosecutors said.
The prosecutors maintained that Enrile has acknowledged the validity of the plunder information when he sought a Bill of Particulars before the Supreme Court, and that the plunder information “amplified” by the Bill of Particulars “sufficiently establish the elements of the offense.”
“All told, there [exist] no cogent reasons for the Honorable Court to reverse its resolution… hence, accused Enrile’s motion should be denied,” the prosecutors said.
After over two years, Enrile’s plunder trial is finally underway after he has exhausted his legal remedies to put a stop to his plunder trial.
In a resolution promulgated Jan. 31, the court denied Enrile’s quashal motion because it contradicted the Supreme Court ruling that allowed Enrile’s motion for a bill of particulars.
Despite Enrile’s claims that the information was insufficient even with the bill of particulars, the court ruled that the facts charged in the information constitute plunder, “hence, accused Enrile’s motion to quash must be denied.”
While Enrile said the plunder information fails to specify overt acts constituting the crime of “unjust enrichment,” the anti-graft court said Enrile’s arguments are “devoid of merit.”
The Supreme Court already declared that there is no need to give details on the charge of “unjust enrichment,” the Sandiganbayan said.
“How accused Enrile, who is petitioner in the case, could miss this point baffles the Court,” the court said.
The court also said that the details Enrile is seeking in the information — what is the detailed description of the project, or how the kickbacks were received — are all “evidentiary matters which can be provided during the trial.”
“It is jurisprudentially-settled that evidentiary facts need not be alleged in the Information because these are matters of defense,” the court said.
As to Enrile’s claim that there is no probable cause to try him for plunder, the court said this issue had been resolved way back July 2014 when it found probable cause.
“(T)he Court already found that there is probable cause that plunder was committed in this case and that the accused are probably guilty thereof,” the court said.
“In sum, the Court finds that the Information sufficiently alleges the ultimate facts constituting the crime of plunder. Thus, accused Enrile’s motion to dismiss/quash deserves denial,” it concluded.
In his motion to quash the plunder information, Enrile through his lawyers said that after the prosecutors submitted the bill of particulars since the Supreme Court granted his motion, the charge sheet only became “more glaringly insufficient as it becomes more evident that it failed to charge the offense of plunder.”
“It has now become clear that the reason the prosecutors could not provide the details and particulars of the overt acts constituting the crime of plunder is simply because they do not have such details,” Enrile said in his 67-page motion.
Enrile is accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles through his alleged agent Gigi Reyes.
Enrile is out on bail from hospital detention after the Supreme Court considered his petition citing his advanced age and political stature.
Reyes, meanwhile, remains detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig pending her plunder trial. IDL
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