TUGUEGARAO CITY, PHILIPPINES- The anti-graft court on Thursday, April 27, denied the petition of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to dismiss the P172-million plunder charges against him.
In a 19-page resolution penned by the Special Third Division chair and Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the Sandiganbayan has allowed the trial of Enrile in his multi-million charges, upholding its earlier decision on January to dismiss his petition.
Enrile was accused of pocketing money and receiving kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the more commonly known as “pork barrel scam” through businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
The Sandigabayan said they dismissed Enrile’s petition because he was not able to present new evidence, other than what he presented on his earlier petition, which was also dismissed.
With the charges against him decided to push through, Enrile’s charges will now be scheduled for pre-trial.
Enrile’s camp earlier succeeded in their petitions to ask for bill of particulars and to allow him to post bail, both at the Supreme Court.
In his dismissed motion for reconsideration, Enrile argued that the charges against him lacked details, such as information of dates, amount and other details he supposedly plundered from. Enrile said the SC granted him for a bill of particulars, making him eligible to ask for specific details in the evidences against him.
But the Sandiganbayan said that these information he needs are “matters of evidence that do not need to be alleged” of at the pre-trial stage, adding that the information they have is “sufficient” to charge him.
“Simply put, the particular overt acts alleged to constitute the combination or series required by the crime of plunder, coupled with a specification of the other non-evidentiary details stated above, already answer the question of how Enrile took undue advantage of his position, authority, relationships, connections and influence as Senator to unjustly enrich himself,” the Sandiganbayan said.
Earlier, Enrile told reporters he is confident he will win the legal battles.
“I don’t think I will be convicted. I’m sure of the strength of my case… The burden of proof is of them and I know that they can’t prove anything because I haven’t done anything wrong to anybody,” Enrile said. Northernforum.net