Enrile freed on bail

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2015 06:35 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2015 06:37 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has gained temporary liberty after posting bail on his plunder and graft cases in connection with the pork barrel scam at the Sandiganbayan on Thursday.

A convoy carrying Enrile from the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital in Camp Crame, where the senator had been detained since last year, arrived at the anti-graft court past 6 p.m.

The senator's camp posted a P1.45 million bail -- P1 million for plunder and P450,000 for the 15 counts of graft filed against him over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Speaking to reporters after posting bail, Enrile said his faith in the country's judicial system has been vindicated.

"My faith in the probity and justness of our judiciary has been vindicated. I will go back to my work and serve no interest except the interest of the country," he said.

He, however, said he does know yet when he will return back to work at the Senate.

(READ: Enrile raring to return home, go back to work)

He said the first thing that he will do following his temporary release from detention is to read.

He also said he might visit Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who is also detained for plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam.

Enrile stayed at the Sandiganbayan for around 10 minutes. He left the court at around 6:40 p.m.

The Supreme Court (SC) this afternoon issued the notice of judgment informing the Sandiganbayan of its decision granting the bail petition of Enrile. 

The notice was signed by SC Clerk of Court Atty. Felipa Anama. Attached with the notice of judgment are the decision, dissenting opinion and the annexes.

In the decision penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin, the high court ruled that the Sandiganbayan Third Division committed grave abuse of discretion in junking Enrile's bail petition through its resolutions dated July 14, 2014 and August 8, 2014.

The high court cited the following grounds in granting Enrile's bail plea:

- bail protects the right of the accused to due process and to be presumed innocent;

- bail may be granted as a matter of right or of discretion of the trial court;

- admission to bail in offenses punished by death, or life imprisonment, or reclusion perpetua is subject to judicial discretion; and

- Enrile's poor health justifies his admission to bail.

In his bail petition, Enrile had argued that he is not a flight risk and that prosecutors have not presented strong evidence of guilt to deny him bail. -- With reports from Ina Reformina and Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News; Zandro Ochona, dzMM