Court denies Gigi Reyes' plea to suspend proceedings

MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan denied on Friday, July 4, lawyer Jessica Lucila "Gigi" Reyes' plea to have proceedings in her plunder and graft cases suspended.

Along with Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, the anti-graft court also ordered the arrest of Reyes in connection with the graft and plunder charges filed against them by the Ombudsman.

Watch this report below.

Reyes arrived at the Sandiganbayan Friday at about 4 pm to submit to its jurisdiction. She proceeded to the Sandiganbayan Sheriff's Office upon arrival. Escorted by police, she went to the office of the 3rd division clerk of court.

ARREST WARRANT. The Sandiganbayan's Third Division issues an order of arrest for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

ARREST WARRANT. The Sandiganbayan's Third Division issues an order of arrest for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

The court's 3rd division, which is hearing the cases of Reyes and principal accused Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, heard the oral arguments on her motion Friday. Reyes was Enrile's former chief of staff.

Reyes' lawyer Anacleto Diaz 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 recipient of kickbacks from the diverted development funds of Enrile. (READ: Gigi Reyes confident PDAF case will be suspended)

Diaz said Tuason's testimony was principal evidence in the finding of probable cause against his client. Thus, it was crucial that they were furnished a copy of the her 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. – Rappler.com