No ‘pork’ evidence on Enrile
GOVERNMENT prosecutors on Monday admitted they had no evidence that Senator Juan Ponce Enrile received P172.8 million in commissions from the release of his pork barrel to the foundations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork-barrel scam
At the oral summation for Napoles’ bail plea before the anti-graft court’s Third Division, the prosecution, represented by Edwin Gomez, told Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang that they lacked evidence that the 91-year-old senator was able to receive kickbacks from Napoles.
Associate Justice Samuel Martires questioned Gomez over the prosecution’s failure to show proof that Enrile received commissions from the pork barrel fund scam in over a year of hearing Napoles’ bail petition.
“Were you able to present proof that Senator Enrile received a single centavo from the P172.8 million that Napoles allegedly gave him as commissions?” Martires asked.
“None as of this moment for the purposes of this bail hearing,” Gomez replied.
When asked by Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, chairwoman of the Third Division, if it would be proper to dismiss the plunder and graft charges filed against Enrile and the other accused for lack of evidence, Gomez answered “yes.”
Still, Gomez said Enrile was still culpable for plunder for allocating his pork barrel funds to Napoles’ fake non-governmental organizations.
“Granting even if Attorney [Jessica Lucile “Gigi”] Reyes did not give the money to Enrile, there is still plunder. He must still be held liable because, as a senator, why did he allow his PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] to be used by Napoles?” Gomez said.
He said Enrile was still part of the scam.
The oral summation was the last chance for the prosecution and the defense to argue on Napoles’ bail petition.
Enrile is facing plunder and 11 counts of graft charges for allegedly receiving commissions from the release of his pork barrel to Napoles’ foundations.
Napoles has also been charged with plunder and graft raps over the diversion of Enrile’s pork barrel fund to her NGOs.
Meanwhile, the Third Division on Monday submitted for resolution Napoles’ bail petition after the conduct of the oral summation.
“That ends our bail hearing of accused Napoles. The petition is submitted for resolution,” Cabotaje-Tang said.