Sandiganbayan scolds prosecutor for corrections made on documents in Enrile PDAF trial

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2023 07:31 PM

The Sandiganbayan building in Quezon Cit on February 19, 2020 Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
The Sandiganbayan building in Quezon Cit on February 19, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division scolded the prosecution Tuesday for making various corrections in judicial affidavits of their witnesses in the continuation of the graft hearing of former senator and now Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.

The lawyer of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, Atty. Ronnie Garay, told the court the inconsistencies in the years of service of witness Rizalina Quiros as an agricultural technologist and as municipal agriculturist of the town of San Gabriel, La Union.

“The offer of testimony that this witness, the municipal agriculturist of San Gabriel, La Union from 2013 until the present has no basis your honor,” Garay told the court.

In the offer of testimony of Prosecutor Ryan Hartzel Balisacan during the hearing, he said that Quiros is the municipal agriculturist of San Gabriel from 2013 to present.

But Garay pointed out in the judicial affidavit of Quiros, it was indicated that she was also the municipal agriculturist from 2003 to 2012 but it turned out that in reality, she was agricultural technologist from 1997 to 2012.

“Your honor, we would like to move for the amendment of the judicial affidavit, this is a typographical error,” Balisacan said.

According to Balisacan, the testimony of the witness based on her judicial affidavit is that her municipality did not receive any agricultural package from the PDAF of Enrile.

In the plunder hearing which followed the graft hearing, Quiros and her judicial affidavit were again presented by the prosecution.

Despite profuse apologies from Balisacan, Associate Justice Ronald Moreno expressed his disappointment once again over the corrections being made by the prosecution.

Moreno noted that the judicial affidavit of the witness was prepared last year and the prosecution could have caught their error earlier.

“We call your attention, you apologize, you move for amendment, you apologize,” Moreno said.

In 2013, the Supreme Court declared the PDAF unconstitutional.

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