Gigi Reyes tells court to junk forfeiture case

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LAWYER Jessica "Gigi" Reyes urged the Manila Regional Trial Court to junk the forfeiture case filed by the government against her in relation to the pork barrel scam, saying there has been no evidence to prove that she benefited from the anomaly.

She also asked the court to allow her to access her bank accounts covered by a 20-day freeze order issued last June 6.

Covered by the provisional asset preservation order (Papo) issued by Manila RTC Executive Judge Marino dela Cruz were Reyes’ accounts in East West Bank (P511,522.40) and Security Bank (P6,700.92).

Reyes, now facing plunder charges along with her ex-boss, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, at the Sandiganbayan, allegedly received kickbacks for facilitating the transfer of Enrile's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Napoles.

But Reyes said whistleblower Benhur Luy and witnesses Merlina Suñas, Gertrudes Luy, Anabelle Luy-Reario, Nova Kay Macalintal, Elena Abundo and Avelina Lingo have not directly pointed out that she received any money coming from Enrile's PDAF.

"Their statements, apart from being vague, conclusory and lacking in any details as to time, date or place do not show that they were present or privy to the delivery, receipt and/or of my supposed acceptance of any funds constituting the PDAF of Senator Enrile," she said, adding her money deposits come from legitimate sources.

She said allegations that she conspired with Enrile to commit plunder are mere assumptions even as respondent-turned-witness Ruby Tuason said Reyes was the senator's bagman in the illegal transaction.

"Proof, not mere conjectures or assumptions, should be proffered which would show that the co-conspirators had taken part in the planning, preparation and participation of the alleged conspiracy," said Reyes, who was Enrile's longtime chief of staff.

The provisional freeze order issued against Reyes' bank accounts may become permanent if the court sides with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which is the lead government agency pursuing the forfeiture case against Napoles, Reyes and other individuals. (Sunnex)

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