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Enrile’s graft trial to finally start in March 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Juan Ponce Enrile will be busy in the coming months as he runs his senatorial campaign the same time that the trial finally begins for his graft case.

The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan finished the pre trial stage of Enrile’s pork barrel scam graft case on Friday, January 11. The trial proper is set to start on March 19.

Enrile attended the hearing on Friday with his former chief of staff, rumored ex-girlfriend, and co-accused Gigi Reyes. 

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division recently denied Reyes’ appeal for bail. Reyes lost the appeal despite a flip-flop from a justice, that forced the creation of a special division.

Enrile’s case is the slowest-moving among the pork barrel scam cases. Enrile’s plunder case is set for February 19, which involves the allegation that he pocketed through Reyes P172.8 million worth of kickbacks from his pork barrel. 

The 94-year-old Enrile has been free for more than 3 years because the Supreme Court also granted him bail.

A crucial whistleblower to the Enrile case is socialite Ruby Tuason who said she met with Reyes several times to hand deliver the kickbacks. 

Enrile, as well as others accused in the pork barrel scam Jinggoy Estrada, and Bong Revilla, are all enjoying freedom and will run again for Senate in 2019. 

While Revilla was acquitted for plunder, he remains on trial for 16 counts of graft. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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