All set for trial of Enrile’s ‘pork’ cases
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan is set to start the formal trial of the plunder and graft cases against former senator Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the multi-billion peso pork barrel fund scam, nearly five years since the cases were filed.

The trial of Enrile’s plunder case is set to start on Feb. 19 while the trial of his 15 counts of graft will start on March 19, Sandiganbayan Third Division clerk of court Dennis Pulma told The STAR.

Pulma said the plunder and graft cases “will not be tried jointly but rather one after the other” every Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was on Dec. 7, 2018 when the Third Division formally terminated the pre-trial of Enrile’s plunder case after both the prosecution and defense finally agreed on the final list of their respective pieces of evidence and witnesses.

The pre-trial of Enrile’s graft cases was terminated yesterday, paving the way for the start of the trial proper, Pulma said.

Enrile’s cases were stalled since late 2014 after he filed a petition for bail before the Supreme Court as well as a motion for bill of particulars to compel the prosecution to supply additional information in the charge sheets. The SC granted both motions.

Enrile, through his chief of staff Gigi Reyes, is accused of receiving a total of P172.83 million in commissions or kickbacks from alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Napoles in exchange for the alleged allocation of his Priority Development Assistance Fund  or pork barrel to the latter’s bogus non-government organizations.

Reyes and Napoles are currently detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

Enrile is seeking to reclaim a seat in the Senate in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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