Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison confirmed on Wednesday that Jessica Lucile “Gigi” Reyes, the former chief of staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, is still in the Philippines, contrary to rumors that she had fled the country.
“Based on our database, Gigi Reyes is still in the country,” Mison told The Manila Times in a text message.
Anacleto Dial, lawyer for Reyes, earlier said his client would not flee the country as she is facing plunder and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam. The anti-graft court issued holddeparture orders against Reyes and her co-accused.
“Wala siyang balak umalis [She has no plans to leave]. In fact, umuwi siya rito [she returned to the country]precisely to face the charges against her because she believes that she will be able to prove her innocence,” Dial added in a report.
Reyes came back from the United States in April.
Meanwhile, Mison pointed out that desperate people could possibly leave the country through the backdoor, but he said Immigration officers were already alerted against their departures.
“Anyone who is desperate or determined to evade justice may always find ways to leave the country through various, but illegal means,” he said.
BI spokesman Elaine Tan said they are confident that the Immigration officers in all airports and seaports in the country had been alerted and informed of the HDOs issued against several lawmakers and all those charged with plunder at the Sandiganbayan.
Mison recently ordered enforcement of the HDOs issued against Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and 34 others charged with graft and plunder, including Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
Among those who are on the HDO list are Pauline Labayen (Estrada’s former girl Friday), former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Allan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza, Maria Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Victor Roman Cacal, Maria Ninez Guanizo, Romulo Relevo, John Raymund de Asis, Richard Cambe, Ronald John Lim, Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Francisco Figura, Rosalinda Lacsamana, Marivic Jover, Myla Ogerio, Eulogio Rodriguez, Laarni Uy, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Evelyn de Leon, Encarnita Christina Munsod, Gondelina Amata, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, Ofelia Ordonez, Sofia Cruz, Chita Jalandoni, Gregoria Buenaventura, Jocelyn Piorato and Evelyn Sucgang.