Enrile plunder trial deferred anew
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The trial of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile suffered another delay as the prosecution and the defense have yet to agree on the final list of issues and evidence to be tackled during the trial proper.

In a short hearing yesterday afternoon, Enrile’s lead counsel, former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza, informed the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division that their camp filed a motion to defer the trial as they still have concerns regarding the issues and evidence to be presented by the prosecution.

The prosecution did not object to postponing the proceedings. 

Mendoza reiterated their camp’s earlier stand that the evidence to be presented by the prosecution should be limited to those pertaining to his alleged overt criminal acts described in the bill of particulars earlier supplied by the prosecution.

The Third Division gave Enrile’s camp until Monday next week to file a formal manifestation regarding their concerns. 

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

The court directed the prosecution and the defense to meet on Nov. 26 and 27 to resolve their issues and submit to the court a joint stipulation of facts. 

The Third Division said it will then issue a pre-trial order to guide the conduct of the trial. 

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in June 2014, the plunder case stemmed from Enrile’s alleged receipt of a total of P172.83 million in commissions or kickbacks from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in exchange for the alleged allocation of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel to the latter’s bogus non-government organizations from 2004 to 2010.               

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