Will Justice be delayed just to allow to post bail for the ailing 91- year old grand old man of the Senate.
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s right to post bail is long overdue and could have been granted earlier if not for postponements and delays made by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, according to unimpeachable sources of The Manila Times.
The Supreme Court is scheduled for the nth time to deliberate and vote on Tuesday on Enrile’s plea for bail and Bill of Particulars.
The draft ponencia of Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin for the senator’s bail case has long been prepared along with the draft ponencia of Associate Arturo Brion for the Bill of Particulars case.
Enrile, 91, is asking to stop the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan from proceeding with trial of plunder and graft charges filed against him for his alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
In his petition for certiorari, the senator, through his lawyer Estelito Mendoza, asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction which would stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with his case.
Enrile elevated his case before the SC against the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division for committing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
In particular, he asked the tribunal to junk a July 11, 2014 resolution issued by the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division, which denied his motion for the Bill of Particulars”.
Enrile cited Section 9, Rule 116 of the Rules of Courts, wherein it states that “the accused may, before arraignment, move for a Bill of Particulars to enable him properly to plead and prepare for trial.”
Another petition for certiorari was filed with the SC, on the issue of bail asking the tribunal to allow him to post bail for his temporary liberty on account of old age and voluntary surrender.
The High Court had scheduled hearings on the petition for bail on April 21, July 28 and August 4.
All the hearings were postponed because Sereno was unavailable.
Enrile is under hospital arrest in Camp Crame in Quezon City after he was indicted at the Sandiganbayan for the pork barrel scam and was charged with the non-bailable crime of plunder.
A source said Bersamin has submitted to his fellow justices his position that th senator should be allowed to post bail.
The SC source added that it will be a tight voting,7-7 or 8-6.
Under the Rules of Court, once the SC voting is tied at 7-7, another voting shall be made and if the same result is obtained , the petition of Enrile shall be dismissed.
Once the voting reaches a majority vote of 8 against 6 for Enrile, it will be the key to whether Enrile will be released from prison.
There are only 14 justices who will participate in the voting since Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited himself from the case, which he handled when he was then the Solicitor General.