State lawyers asked the Sandiganbayan to suspend Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile pending litigation of plunder complaint filed against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.
The 90-year-old former Senate President and now minority leader is one of three senators accused of getting kickbacks for pouring their Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf) or pork barrel to fake non-government organizations owned or controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.
“It is presumed that unless accused is suspended and prevented from discharging official acts, he may frustrate his prosecution and commit further acts of malfeasance,” the prosecutors said in the motion to suspend filed before the anti-graft court.
They noted that Enrile should be suspended to prevent him from intimidating or influencing witnesses or tampering documentary evidence.
Under the law, any public officer with a pending criminal case can be suspended.
The court entered a not guilty plea for Enrile when he was arraigned on Friday last week.
Prosecutors have also earlier asked the court to suspend Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Revilla’s chief of staff Richard Cambe. The three are also facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Since his surrender, Enrile has been staying at the Philippine National Police General Hospital. The court has deferred ruling on his plea for hospital arrest pending evaluation of his medical condition.