MANILA - The Sandiganbayan on Friday suspended Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile for 90 days pending litigation of his P172-million plunder case in connection with the pork barrel scam.
"Accused Juan Ponce Enrile is hereby suspended from his position as senator of the Republic of the Philippines and from any other public office that he may now or hereafter be holding for a period of 90 days from receipt of this resolution unless a motion for reconsideration is seasonably filed," Sandiganbayan Third Division executive clerk of court Dennis Pulma said.
He said a copy of the Sandiganbayan order will be submitted to the office of the Senate President. He said the suspension will be automatically lifted after 90 days.
Enrile, who is accused of amassing P172 million in pork barrel kickbacks, is facing one count of plunder and 15 counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan.
In its motion to suspend pendente lite or pending trial filed against Enrile, the prosecution panel cited the plunder law, which states that an official accused of plunder should be suspended to prevent him from intimidating witnesses or tampering with the evidence.
The prosecution admitted that Enrile's suspension may be unkind, as raised by lawyer Estelito Mendoza, but it still needs to be ordered by the court to prevent the senator from using his position to influence the case.