Prosecutors want Enrile suspended from Senate

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MANILA -- Government prosecutors asked the anti-graft court to suspend from the Senate detained Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who faces a non-bailable charge of plunder in connection with the pork barrel fund scam.

In a motion filed Monday, prosecutors said the move against Enrile is meant to "preserve the integrity of the prosecution of the accused by preventing him from intimidating or influencing witnesses or tampering [with] documentary evidence, and to avoid further malfeasance while in office."

"It is presumed that unless the accused is suspended and prevented from discharging official acts, he may frustrate his prosecution and commit further acts of malfeasance," the motion read.

Under the Plunder Law or Republic Act (RA) 7080 as amended, the Office of the Ombudsman pointed out that any public officer against whom a criminal prosecution under valid information for plunder is pending in court shall be suspended from office.

The prosecution said the jurisprudence sets the period of suspension pendente lite at 90-days.

Enrile allegedly amassed P172-million in kickbacks after channeling his PDAF allocation to the bogus non-government organizations (NGO) owned by businesswoman Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork barrel fund scam.

The prosecution had earlier filed similar motions against Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

On Monday, Enrile's legal team manifested that they are planning to file a motion before the anti-graft court, which will place the 90-year-old former Senate President under house arrest.

Enrile's lawyer, former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza said that placing the senator at home would be the least stress-free option for detaining the ailing lawmaker. (Sunnex)

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