Enrile plunder trial will proceed, Sandiganbayan says

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2017 02:52 AM

Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- After a lull in the plunder case of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, his plunder trial may now proceed after the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division denied his motion for reconsideration on his junked motion to quash.

"In sum, the court finds that accused Enrile has failed to present any sound reason for the court to overturn its resolution promulgated on January 31, 2017," the court said in a 19-page resolution penned by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chair Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

The resolution tackled the issue of the "bill of particulars" which the camp of Enrile raised before the Supreme Court. 

Enrile has argued that the acts mentioned in the information against him do not constitute the crime of plunder.

"Indeed, the Supreme Court already declared that there is no need to provide details on the alleged act of unjust enrichment in the said Enrile case," the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division said.

Along with two other senators, Enrile is accused of plunder for allegedly pocketing P172 million as kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel. 

He allegedly conspired with his former chief of staff Gigi Reyes and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles on bogus projects from 2004 to 2010. 

"Indeed, a reading of the information reveals that contrary to the claim of accused Enrile, it avers the following overt acts or predicate crimes: receiving directly or indirectly any commission or kickback and taking advantage of official position which are among those predicate crimes enumerated under Section 1 (d) of RA 7080," the court said.

In 2015, the Supreme Court allowed the then 91-year old Enrile to post bail on humanitarian grounds.