Handcuffed Gigi Reyes in anti-graft court for arraignment

Bea Cupin
Handcuffed Gigi Reyes in anti-graft court for arraignment
(UPDATED) Lawyer Jessica Lucila 'Gigi' Reyes is finally at the Sandiganbayan after skipping her scheduled arraignment last week due to 'anxiety' problems

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – In handcuffs and a crisp long-sleeved blouse, lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, was brought to anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for her arraignment over plunder charges in connection with the multimillion pork barrel scam.

Reyes left the Taguig city jail in Camp Bagong Diwa at around 6:25 am, on board a convoy composed of 3 vehicles and 3 motorcycle escorts, said Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Uniform (BJMP) National Capital Region spokesman Inspector Aries Villaester. The convoy arrived at the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City around an hour later.

Reyes faces graft and plunder charges for allegedly pocketing millions of pesos in pork barrel through fake projects executed by bogus non-governmental organizations.

According to whistleblowers and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the scam, Reyes was the one who handled Enrile’s “transactions” using his pork barrel.

Her arraingment was originally scheduled on July 11 but did not push through after doctors at the Taguig Pateros District Hospital said she was not fit to leave the hospital.

‘Anxiety’ problems

The lawyer surrendered before the Sandiganbayan two weeks ago on July 4. (READ: Gigi Reyes’ Sandiganbayan cell ‘inhuman’ – Erap)

Unlike other high-profile personalities accused in the scam such as Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Reyes is not in the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Revilla and Estrada are both detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame while Enrile is at the PNP General Hospital in the same camp.

Reyes is asking the anti-graft court to also commit her to the custodial center.

According to her attending physician, Reyes has mixed anxiety disorder and needs psychiatric treatment. Shortly before she was moved to Camp Bagong Diwa, Reyes was rushed to the Taguig Pateros District Hospital because of a panic attack.

After a one-day stay in the hospital, she was rushed to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City because of chest pains.

She has since been moved back to Camp Bagong Diwa, where she stays inside an office “as an improvised isolation room for her condition,” jail officials said.

Reyes’ physician said she has suicidal tendencies. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.