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Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (from Inquirer File Photo)

PH Senator Santiago: Make Gigi Reyes A State Witness

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (from Inquirer File Photo)
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (from Inquirer File Photo)

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Thursday that Gigi Reyes should become a state witness against her former boss who is implicated in the Php10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Filipino businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Reyes was the former Chief of Staff of former Senate President and incumbent Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who is charged with plunder along with two other senators for allegedly conspiring with Napoles and misusing their allocations of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.

Sen. Enrile, Reyes, and 36 others have been charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in relations to the scam.

Sen. Santiago said Reyes’ testimony could support material evidence against Enrile and other conspirators.

She said Reyes can be state witness because she does not appear as the “most guilty” among the accused, and has not been proven to have been convicted or accused of any crime that questions her morality.

She also said that without Reyes’ testimony, the prosecution cannot prove the plunder case against Sen. Enrile.

Reyes had blasted Sen. Enrile previously, calling his actions a betrayal when his lawyer denied that the senator approved the release of his PDAF to organizations held by Napoles.

Reyes saw the statement as transferring liabilities from the senator to her, a move which Sen. Santiago says does not negate a conspiracy.

“The senator can no longer repudiate the conspiracy, after it had already materialized,” she said.

“The mere fact that the crime of plunder took place over a period consisting of many years, by itself shows what the law calls ‘implied conspiracy’ ,” she said.

“To free himself from criminal liability, the law requires an overt act on the part of the conspirator,” she said, and he should have shown that he tried to stop transactions from him to the organizations owned by Napoles.

Sen. Santiago said Sen. Enrile still faces criminal liability even if Reyes is proven to have transacted with Napoles without his permission.

(with reports from The Manila BulletinSenate Press Release, and The Philippine Star)