Palace: Senators have other options
MANILA - Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla still have other recourses of action after their appeals over charges of plunder for the pork barrel scam were rejected by the Office of the Ombudsman.
A Palace official, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, walked media through what happens next after the Office of the Ombudsman released its findings on the motion for reconsideration (MR).
“I’m talking here from a purely procedural perspective—after the denial of the MR, the respondents are entitled to several legal remedies. The first being--questioning the denial of the motion for reconsideration to a higher court," she said.
Valte, however, explained this appeal to another body may proceed even if the Ombudsman files the case before the anti-graft court.
“Even assuming that they do question it before a higher court, then the next step is that the case is elevated by the Ombudsman to the Sandiganbayan. That is done by a filing of the information or the charge sheet against the respondents.”
Valte explained the charge sheet is essentially a document that contains the charges as well as the acts or omissions that are being complained of against the respondents.
“Once that is filed to the Sandiganbayan, the case is scheduled for raffle and the raffle will determine which division will handle the particular case.”
This then paves the way for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
“After that, after it is raffled, then the division that will end up handling it will wait for the transmittal of all the records that are filed by—that are submitted by the Office of the Ombudsman and then the justices will then continue to review the records to --- for the end purpose of determining whether a warrant of arrest should issue. So whether or not that will happen is something that is dependent on the Sandiganbayan. When it will happen is also something that is dependent on the Sandiganbayan.”
Valte denies the administration asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prepare already for the detention of the 3 senators. Plunder is a non-bailable offense.
The PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group reportedly already has a detention facility for the 3 senators.
“I remember them saying that it coincided with the current issues that they were fixing up I think some of their facilities.”
“ But you know, really, when it comes to detention, it’s the court that determines where the place will be, not the Executive,” said valte, in response to calls for the senators to be detained in regular detention centers.