MANILA, Philippines – Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Monday, June 23, submitted for resolution lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes’ plea to have proceedings in her plunder and graft cases suspended.
“With the filing of her reply and the rejoinder of the prosecution, her motion is now submitted for resolution,” Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang said in a text message to Rappler.
With this, a resolution deciding on whether to stop the proceedings on Reyes’ cases can be issued anytime now.
Tang chairs the court’s 3rd division, which is hearing the cases of Reyes and principal accused Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Reyes is Enrile’s former chief of staff.
Reyes filed on Monday her reply to the opposition of Ombudsman prosecutors to her bid for suspension of proceedings.
She maintained her right to due process was violated when the Ombudsman failed to furnish her a copy of documents relevant to her case. This included the affidavit of state witness and socialite Ruby Tuason, who tagged her as bagman for kickbacks from the siphoning of Enrile’s development funds. (READ: Gigi Reyes confident PDAF case will be suspended)
Reyes’ lawyer Anacleto Diaz said Tuason’s testimony was principal evidence in the finding of probable cause against his client. Hence, it was crucial that they were furnished a copy of the testimony.
The same argument was cited by Reyes in her earlier petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court (SC).
Out of judicial courtesy, Diaz said the anti-graft court must wait for the SC’s action on Reyes’ plea for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on her indictment.
But the prosecutors maintained that the proceedings must advance without the TRO from the SC.
The Ombudsman special prosecution panel said it will no longer file a rejoinder to Reyes’ reply, as the reply was merely a reiteration of the arguments in the initial motion submitted.
Tang added in another text message that the motion is still considered submitted for resolution, as the prosecution chose not to file the rejoinder but wanted noted their manifestation.
Supposedly, the prosecutors still have 5 days from receipt of the reply to file a rejoinder. – Rappler.com