De Lima: Enrile case will stand without Reyes’ testimony

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Monday, April 21, 2014


JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima expressed confidence on Monday that the plunder charges against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will stand in court even without turning Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, his former chief of staff, as state witness.

Speaking to reporters, de Lima said the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause that Enrile amassed P172.8 million in kickbacks for sponsoring ghost projects under pork barrel fund through documentary evidence, field investigation results and testimonies of whistleblowers.

Reyes was also included in the charge sheet but the Ombudsman has yet to file the information in the Sandiganbayan pending resolution of her appeal to the April 1 resolution.

She returned to the Philippines last Saturday after spending eight months abroad, opening speculations that she may turn her back on Enrile to save herself from prosecution and detention.

De Lima is cool to the idea of making Reyes as state witness, saying the lawyer did not show interest at this point. The Justice Secretary is also more inclined to hear what Janet Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind, has to tell about the controversy.

"Let's say kasi kung si Attorney Reyes ang magte-tell all, siyempre sakop lang niyan ay tungkol kay JPE (Enrile), pero si Mrs. Napoles, lahat-lahat na siguro ang sakop ng kanyang tell all narrative na yan ni Mrs. Napoles,” de Lima said.

Napoles had denied knowledge of the scam, where she allegedly used fake non-government organizations (NGOs) to siphon off Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of some lawmakers, who got commissions in return. (Sunnex)

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