Ex-senator chief of staff seeks bail in pork barrel scam case
Detained lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the chief of staff of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, has asked the Sandiganbayan to grant her bail for the plunder charges related to the alleged pork barrel scam.
In her motion for bail ad cautelam, Reyes has asked the Sandiganbayan Third Division to grant her bail especially because there is no strong evidence against her in her alleged involvement in the scheme of pilfering kickbacks from the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Reyes cited her constitutional right to be granted bail if there is no strong evidence against her.
“In the instant case, accused Reyes has consistently maintained that she is entitled to bail because no evidence of her guilt for the crime of plunder, as charged by the prosecution, exists,” Reyes said in her motion.
“There being thus no evidence, let alone strong evidence that accused Reyes is guilty of the crime charged, accused Reyes is entitled to bail as a matter of right,” she added in her motion.
Reyes said she filed a motion for bail even as her trial for plunder is underway, without waiving her right to file other remedies, such as an appropriate petition before the Supreme Court to question the Sandiganbayan’s denial of her motion to quash the plunder information.
“Wherefore, accused Jessica Lucila Reyes, respectfully prays ad cautelam that this Honorable Court admit her to bail in such amount as the Honorable Court may fix, and that an order for her temporary release from detention be issued,” the motion read.
While her boss Enrile was granted by the Supreme Court to post bail, Reyes, who was accused of serving as Enrile’s agent, remains detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig while facing the plunder case.
Reyes was rumored to have had an affair with the elderly Enrile during their Senate days, however, Enrile denied this allegation.
Enrile was accused of receiving P172.8 million in kickbacks from his alleged ghost pork barrel projects.
In its resolution that denied the motion for bail of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, the anti-graft court Third Division said there was “compelling evidence” Reyes received the kickbacks for Enrile from the accused mastermind Napoles.
The court gave credence to the testimony of socialite Ruby Tuason, the alleged agent of Enrile and another coaccused Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, on delivering kickbacks from Napoles. Tuason had testified that she delivered Enrile’s share in the commissions to his chief of staff Reyes.
“Although there is no direct evidence that Senator Enrile received the kickbacks/commissions/rebates repeatedly given by accused Napoles to his middlepersons, there is more than compelling evidence, consisting of the testimony of Ruby Tuason, that Atty. Reyes received Senator Enrile’s share,” the court said.
“The information in this case alleges that Senator Enrile and Atty. Reyes conspired with each other ‘and with Janet Lim-Napoles’ in amassing, accumulating and acquiring ill-gotten wealth,” it added. JPV
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