MANILA (Mabuhay) – Lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes should return the money her former boss, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, supposedly “stole” and “turn the tables” on him.
This was the challenge made by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to Reyes, Enrile’s former chief-of-staff, during a Senate blue ribbon hearing on the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday.
“Attorney Gigi, return the money that Enrile stole because I am sure that Attorney Gigi is in charge of the safekeeping of these illegitimate funds abroad,” Santiago said.
She also advised Reyes to “turn the tables on Enrile and turn into a state witness.”
It was the second time that Santiago proposed for Reyes to be turned into a state witness in the pork barrel scam case where Enrile is among those implicated.
Enrile, a veteran politician, allegedly received P172.8 million in kickbacks from the scam. Other senators linked to the anomaly are Jinggoy Estrada (P183.79 million) and Ramon Bong Revilla (224.5 million).
Reyes was also named respondent in the case after the National Bureau of Investigation, in its complaint, said she signed documents related to the release of Enrile’s pork barrel funds to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. She left the country late last year before the plunder complaint was filed with the Office of the Ombudsman and has not returned ever since.
Santiago, Enrile’s staunch critic, said she suspects Reyes is only being used as a “front” by her former boss.
“Alangan namang UP [University of the Philippines] graduate, papasok siya [Reyes] ng ganyan mag-isa niya. Ay natural, may kasunduan sila na kung ano utos ng amo susunduin niya,” she said.
Reyes has been accused of receiving pork barrel kickbacks for Enrile, and signing documents for the release of these discretionary funds on the senators’ behalf.
Earlier this week, Enrile’s wife, Cristina, confirmed that Reyes had an affair with her husband – an information that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said could bolster the case against the senator. (MNS)