pork barrel scam

Gigi Reyes cries illegal detention, turns to Supreme Court for her release

Rambo Talabong

PLEADING. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of ex-senator Juan Ponce Enrile, has been detained for over 6 years

Rappler file photo

Gigi Reyes files a petition for habeas corpus before the Supreme Court

Gigi Reyes, the former chief of staff of ex-senator Juan Ponce Enrile, asked the Supreme Court to have her released, arguing that the trial for her alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam has been unreasonably delayed.

Reyes filed a petition for habeas corpus, saying that her right to a speedy trial has been violated for her detention from July 9, 2014. In filing the petition, Reyes and her lawyers are contending that she has been illegally detained.

Citing Section 14, Article III of the Constitution, Reyes said in her petition that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without “due process of law” and that, that person is entitled, among others, to have “a speedy, impartial, and public trial.”

The petition added: “Yet, in the case of petitioner she has been and continues to be under detention now for a period of six years, seven months, or for 2,409 and counting, the end beyond perception.”

Reyes is currently detained in Camp Bagong Diwa over her non-bailable plunder charge with Enrile for allegedly keeping P172.8 million in kickbacks in the pork barrel scam. The Supreme Court granted bail to Enrile in August 2015, citing humanitarian grounds because of his age and his health issues.

She pleaded for her release in 2020, citing humanitarian grounds, too. She said she was in danger of being infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). After finding insufficient evidence, the Sandiganbayan Third Division voted 3-2 to reject her bail plea. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.