Enrile’s motion for recon on bail petition junked

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Friday, August 8, 2014


THE Sandiganbayan junked Friday the motion for reconsideration of detained Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on his petition for bail.

In a resolution issued by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and third division chairperson Associate Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the court said it will not grant Enrile temporary freedom unless the division finally hears and evaluates the supposed evidence to be presented by government prosecutors.

"No amount of legal hermeneutics can justify accused Enrile's insistence that the court should already grant him bail pending the prosecution's presentation of its evidence showing proof evident of his guilt," the resolution read.

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The resolution said the prosecution team has the ball to prove that the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong during the bail hearing.

Tang noted that if there is a strong proof of guilt, it is the court's duty to junk the bail request but if there is no sufficient evidence, "the bail becomes a matter of right".

"It is only after the prosecution shall have presented its evidence and the court shall have made a determination that the evidence of guilt is not strong against accused Enrile can he demand bail as a matter of right. Then and only then will the court be duty-bound to fix the amount of his bail," the resolution stated.

The court noted that the lawmaker did not apply for bail but instead requested the first division to place the amount of his bail "based on his submission that he is entitled to bail as a matter of right pending presentation by the prosecution of its evidence showing proof of his guilt."

"Accused Enrile conveniently overlooks the fact that he is charged with a capital offense; hence, bail as to him is discretionary.... under the Revised Rules of Court, such discretion is exercisable by the court only after the prosecution presented its evidence in a bail hearing," it added.

It also stated that the former Senate President has failed to lay down the basis that would enable the lowering of the imposable penalty next to that prescribed by the law. It added Enrile's age and his supposed voluntary surrender are ordinary mitigating circumstances.

Meanwhile, the first division also denied Enrile's motion for reconsideration on his motion to dismiss and supplemental opposition to the issuance of warrant of arrest, which were previously turned down by the court.

Enrile is alleged to have amassed P172.8-million in from 2004 to 2010 by channeling his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to non-government organizations (NGOs) of Janet Napoles, the alleged pork scam mastermind.

Last Wednesday, doctors from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) have told the anti-graft court that Enrile needs to undergo series of check-ups before making an "adequate medical assessment". (Sunnex)

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