Santiago wants Reyes to face Senate probe

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Monday, April 21, 2014

LAWYER Jessica "Gigi" Reyes' testimony would be helpful in completing the picture of the multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Monday.

In a letter, Santiago asked Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairperson Teofisto Guingona III to summon Reyes to the hearing and explain her side on the controversy.

Santiago noted that Senate rules do not prevent the continuation of an inquiry even if the committee had already released on April 1 its partial report recommending charges against three senators and some individuals including Reyes.

"I believe that the testimony of Attorney Reyes would serve to round off and clarify certain aspects of the partial report and that the committee findings could be the proper subject of an addendum or similar subsequent report on Atty. Reyes' testimony," she said.

Reyes was said to be the bagman of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the individuals indicted for plunder by the Office of the Ombudsman for the illegal diversion of PDAF to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) allegedly set up by businesswoman Janet Napoles.

She worked for Enrile for 25 years and signed papers on the legislator's behalf especially when he was Senate President from late 2008 to June 2013.

Enrile denied receiving kickbacks from his PDAF transactions, leading Santiago to suspect that her colleague was trying to make his former chief of staff a "standalone culprit" in the scam.

Santiago then repeatedly asked Reyes to turn witness against Enrile. Santiago and Reyes are neighbors at the posh La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City.

Reyes, who vowed to face the charges squarely, returned to the country on Black Saturday (April 19) on board Philippine Airlines Flight PR 105 from San Francisco, California. (Sunnex)

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