Gigi Reyes’ petition to be released from jail junked

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THE Supreme Court (SC) rejected on Tuesday the petition of lawyer Jessica Lucila "Gigi" Reyes, who questioned her arrest, detention and trial for plunder and graft in connection with the pork barrel scam.

Her petition was set aside for being "procedurally defective," SC spokesperson Theodore Te said, citing Reyes' failure to seek the Court's permission to file a supplemental petition to her June pleading.

That pleading assailed the Office of the Ombudsman's decision to press charges against her at the Sandiganbayan, which is entirely different from her supposed supplemental petition, according to the High Court.

The SC said Reyes can still raise her issues against the Sandiganbayan in a separate petition.

The lawyer had assailed the Sandiganbayan Third Division for allegedly rushing the issuance of arrest warrant for plunder on July 4 and 15 counts of graft on July 7, saying the three justices did not carefully review the cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, a judge can either dismiss the case if evidence on record would show lack of probable cause or order the prosecutor, in this case the Ombudsman, to present additional evidence in case of doubt.

But Reyes noted that the Sandiganbayan merely adopted the Ombudsman’s findings without explanation.

Reyes was accused of facilitating the diversion of Enrile's multi-million peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Janet Napoles' fake non-government organizations (NGOs) that are allegedly involved in ghost projects.

She surrendered to the anti-graft court on July 4 and is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City after spending the weekend at the Philippine Heart Center due to chest pains and difficulty of breathing. (Sunnex)

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