MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday said the Department of Justice has not yet considered tapping former Enrile chief of staff Jessica "Gigi" Reyes as a state witness in the pork barrel scam.
In an interview, de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation is still finishing its probe on the scam for the second batch of cases to be filed before the Ombudsman.
She said that since Reyes has already been charged, it is now up to the Ombudsman if the government will use Reyes as a state witness.
"Wala pa kasi kami sa stage na yan na iniisip na namin o kino-consider sino sino maging state witnesses. Hindi pa tapos imbestigasyon ng NBI," she said.
"Sa first batch (of those charged) si Gigi Reyes, nasa Ombudsman na, and therefore ang mag-aaddress ng issue na yan, if ever that is applied for by the camp of Atty Gigi Reyes, ay ang Ombudsman na."
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Thursday said Reyes should turn state witness and tell all against her former boss.
In a speech at the annual postgraduate course of the UP Department of Emergency Medicine, Santiago said Reyes is eligible as a state witness because there is absolute necessity for her testimony with respect to the pork barrel scam and her boss.
"Without her testimony, no other direct evidence will be available for the prosecution to prove plunder against that particular senator. Her testimony could be substantially corroborated in its material points," she said.
She also noted that Reyes does not seem to be the most guilty in the scam.
At least 38 individuals including 3 incumbent senators are facing plunder and malversation raps before the Ombudsman for their alleged links to the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
The charges accuse Reyes, her former boss, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, and other individuals of conspiring to funnel millions of pesos in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to fake non-governmental organizations set up by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
During the weekend, Reyes said she felt betrayed following statements by Enrile's lawyer that the senator "did not give his blessings" to the actions taken by Reyes with respect to his PDAF
Reyes left the country last August 31 ahead of the filing of charges before the Ombudsman. With a report by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News