Sandiganbayan begins hearing Gigi Reyes’ bail plea
The Sandiganbayan on Thursday began hearing the motion of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, to be allowed to post bail on her plunder charge in connection with the pork barrel scam.
During the Third Division’s hearing, Reyes’s lawyer Anacleto Diaz zeroed in on the lack of her signature in the agreements that diverted Enrile’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to non-government organizations allegedly controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
The first prosecution witness, Napoles employee-turned-whistleblower Benhur Luy, replied to Diaz’s questioning: “None, sir, as far as I can remember.”
When Diaz later asked if he had “seen any documents signed by the accused [Reyes],” Luy answered: “As far as my recollection, none, Sir.”
Instead, the memoranda of agreement were signed by Enrile’s deputy chief of staff Jose Antonio Evangelista.
As to the issue of the senator receiving “rebates” in exchange for diverting his PDAF to the NGOs, Diaz pointed to the lack of an agreement proving he authorized his alleged bagmen to collect the kickbacks on his behalf.
Luy had supposedly delivered the kickbacks to middlemen such as socialite Ruby Tuason, her now-deceased husband Butch Tuason, and lawyer Alfredo Villamor.
When it comes to an agreement with Enrile, he confirmed before the court that he stated in his affidavit: “Personally, hindi (no).”
This led Diaz to exclaim: “You have no nothing… but your say-so.”
Reyes only began seeking bail this June, three years after she was detained since the Ombudsman filed the P172.8-million plunder case in the Sandiganbayan in 2014. Prior to the bail motion, she tried to seek the quashal of her cases for supposedly being defective, confusing and vague, but this was denied last January.
The bail motion cited that there was “no evidence” against her, entitling her to the right to post bail on the otherwise nonbailable offense. /je
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