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Napoles, Gigi plunder trial to start next week

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan is set to begin trial proper next week for the plunder charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against alleged pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s former chief of staff Jessica “Gigi” Reyes.

Marathon hearings at the anti-graft court’s Third Division will be held from Wednesdays to Fridays beginning Jan. 13 to July 7.

The Sandiganbayan will not yet begin trial for Enrile since he still has pending issues with the Supreme Court which granted him bail last year.

Reyes and Napoles, who have been confronted with initial evidence in bail hearings last year, are expected to again face their accusers led by whistle-blower Benhur Luy.

Enrile is accused of receiving commissions totaling P172.8 million from Napoles, whose bogus non-government organization implemented ghost projects using pork barrel funds.

Sens. Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada are also facing plunder charges for allegedly receiving commissions from the pork barrel scam. They are still being held at the Philippine National Police custodial center in Camp Crame.

The Sandiganbayan’s First Division has denied Revilla’s petition for bail, while the Fifth Division is yet to resolve Estrada’s request for temporary freedom while undergoing trial.

Napoles is already serving time in jail for serious illegal detention for allegedly detaining Luy before the pork barrel fund scam was exposed. The First and Third Divisions of the Sandiganbayan also denied her petition for bail.

 

ACIRC BENHUR LUY CAMP CRAME ENRILE FIFTH DIVISION FIRST AND THIRD DIVISIONS OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN FIRST DIVISION JANET LIM-NAPOLES AND SEN JUAN PONCE ENRILE NAPOLES SANDIGANBAYAN
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