Sandiganbayan orders Gigi Reyes’ transfer to Taguig jail

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

THE Sandiganbayan third division ordered Wednesday the transfer of lawyer Jessica Lucila "Gigi" Reyes at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

In the resolution for Reyes' transfer was signed by third division chairperson Associate Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Justices Samuel Martires and Alex Quiros.

Earlier, Quezon City Jail (QCJ) warden Chief Inspector Elena Rocamora said there were no adequate facilities inside QCJ for high profile inmates like Reyes, citing the jail's "800 percent overcapacity."

Reyes and her former boss, Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, are co-accused in the plunder and graft charges related to the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

"The Bureau of Jail Management of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Camp Bagon Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City: We hereby commit to you the person of Jessica Lucila Reyes who is charged with plunder pursuant to this court’s minute resolution dated July 9 2014," the commitment order read.

The court rejected the request of Reyes to be transferred to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, where two other accused senators are detained, due to lack of merit.

"The PNP Custodial Center is not under the jurisdiction of the BJMP. Notably, accused Reyes has not sufficiently shown any compelling reason why she should not be detained in a regular jail," the court said.

Reyes surrendered at the Sandiganbayan third division last Friday after the anti-graft court issued separate warrants of arrest against her, Enrile and their other co-accused in the pork barrel scam.

After her surrender, Reyes has been detained at the basement jail of the Sandiganbayan pending the issuance of a commitment order while Enrile has been detained at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City due to his fluctuating blood pressure.

Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada who visited Reyes last Monday described her jail condition as "inhumane."

Earlier reports said Reyes will occupy one of the cells at the PNP Custodial Center. She will reportedly share a common area with the Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, who surrendered earlier on separate occasions on plunder and graft charges, where they can walk, talk and move freely.

Enrile allegedly pocketed P172 million in kickbacks from 2004 to 2012 after channeling his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to fake non-government organizations controlled by businesswoman Janet Napoles, the scam's alleged mastermind.

Meanwhile, the third division issued a minute resolution ordering the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Director Dr. Jose Gonzales or any of his representatives to conduct tests on Enrile to determine if the 90-year-old senator should be placed under hospital arrest.

"[The Sandiganbayan] does not possess the necessary competence to pass upon the alleged medical condition of Enrile," the order said.

The court also held in abeyance Enrile's motion for hospital detention.

Meanwhile, PNP Public Information chief Reuben Theodore Sindac said that keeping the high-risk detainees is straining the PNP's resources.

"It is a drain, not only in our human but material resources and of course in the performance of our police operations, but we continue to abide and respect the orders of the court," he said.

Aside from the three senators and Reyes, the PNP is also in custody of all other accused in the pork barrel scam, including Napoles.

Sindac revealed earlier that the government is spending P150,000 per month for Napoles and an additional P120,000 is being spent every time she attends hearing at the Makati Regional Trial Court in Makati City or at the Sandiganbayan. (Sunnex)

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