The Sandiganbayan’s Special Third Division dismissed former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s plea that the P172-million plunder case filed against him and several other individuals in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam be dismissed.
Enrile’s camp earlier asked the anti-graft court to junk the case, arguing that there is no evidence against him.
But the court said in a 38-page resolution that “[i]n sum, the Court finds that the Information sufficiently alleges the ultimate facts constituting the crime of plunder. Thus, accused Enrile’s motion to dismiss/quash deserves denial.”
It said that the Supreme Court (SC) held that in filing a bill of particulars, Enrile “already impliedly admits that the Information sufficiently alleged a crime” but that the Information (charge sheet) was unclear and lacked details that would allow him to properly prepare his defense.
The court said details “which accused Enrile seeks such as how the kickback was received and a detailed description of the project are all evidentiary matters which can be provided during the trial.”
Enrile was charged along with his former aide Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes and Janet Lim-Napoles, her former employee John Raymund De Asis and her nephew Ronald John Lim.
Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who concurrently leads the court’s Third Division, penned the ruling which was concurred in by Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Zaldy Trespeses.
Enrile was one of three former senators charged in connection with the pork barrel scam. The other two were Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada. REINA TOLENTINO