Sandiganbayan denies Enrile's plea to limit evidence in plunder pre-trial

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2019 07:34 PM

MANILA- Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile has nothing to fear about "possible surprises from the prosecution" with the resumption of the plunder case hearing in his Priority Development Assistance Fund scam case, the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division said. 

In its denial of Enrile’s omnibus motion asking for the limitation of prosecution evidence, the court said Enrile has nothing to fear as he is protected by court rules governing pre-trial conferences.

“Enrile’s trepidation on possible surprises during trial on the part of the prosecution is unfounded, as he is amply protected by the rules on pre-trial, except those which may be privileged or impeaching in character,” the court said. 

In its resolution on the omnibus motion promulgated on May 29, 2019, the court said parties in pre-trial conferences are expected to disclose all issues of law and fact which they intend to raise during trial.

In the resolution, the court also turned down the request of Enrile to limit the government prosecutors to the list of evidence as described in the “bill of particulars” they submitted to the court.

The issue on bill of particulars had reached the Supreme Court which enumerated the required details needed from the prosecution: particular overt acts charged in the information, breakdown of the total amount of P172.834 million kickbacks allegedly received, description of projects where kickbacks were received, approximate dates of receipt of kickbacks, names of non-government organizations related to then businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, government agencies to whom Enrile allegedly endorsed the non-government organizations.

The Sandiganbayan also said that the Supreme Court did not require details as requested by Enrile such as who among the accused got ill-gotten wealth, audit reports from the Commission on Audit, exact amounts of Enrile’s PDAF from 2004 to 2010.

“Notably, the court found these matters to be evidentiary, that do not need to be reflected with particularity in the information, and may be passed upon at the full-blown trial on the merits of the case,” the court said.

The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Ronald Moreno, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice and Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.