AFTER REVILLA-ESTRADA 'TELESERYE', ENRILE WRAPPED IN PRIVACY

JULY 6 --Unlike the show-biz atmosphere that surrounded the arrest of Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada last month, the detention of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on plunder and graft charges over the P10-billion pork barrel scam is turning out to be a private affair. Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police, said Saturday that Enrile’s family had asked for “privacy” for the 90-year-old former Senate president, Edsa People Power Revolution hero and martial law enforcer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“Upon request of [Senator Enrile’s] family through their lawyers, we will not be releasing mug shots and all other updates to the public or the media,” Sindac said in a text message on Saturday.
No interviews --Unlike the families of movie actors Revilla and Estrada who talked with journalists and brought fiesta food and celebrity visitors into the PNP Custodial Center, Enrile’s children, Katrina and former Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, shunned interviews with reporters when they visited him at the PNP General Hospital after his eye checkup in Makati City on Saturday morning. Police officials and the camps of Revilla and Estrada gave information about the two senators’ detention at the Custodial Center, leading to stories about rats and cockroaches in the lawmakers’ cells and to all-night partying that have proven true, as the carousing has drawn a well-reported mass protest from at least 58 detainees at the PNP. Right to privacy But even prisoners have a right to privacy, and the PNP, by approving the family’s request, is apparently respecting Enrile’s. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Enrile in hospital arrest; Gigi Reyes at QC jail 

JULY 6 --“TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOM,” Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile tells his daughter Katrina as he gives her a tight hug before being escorted to the PNP hospital. His coaccused and former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes (at right), surrendered to the Sandiganbayan, which ordered her detention in the basement of the antigraft court until Monday. COMPOSITE: BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP AND RAFFY LERMA --They will miss each other. But maybe not for long. Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile turned himself in to the Philippine National Police on Friday afternoon after the Sandiganbayan Third Division ordered his arrest. But his former chief of staff and coaccused, lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, who was also ordered arrested, is not detained in the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City, where Enrile, 90, is being held in a police hospital. At 7 on Friday night, the court ordered Reyes held at the Sandiganbayan detention cell over the weekend. The court ordered that she be moved to the Quezon City Jail on Monday for her to be detained there while on trial with Enrile on plunder charges. Plunder is a nonbailable offense. Police sources have said the last of the four rooms in the newly renovated detention bungalow was reserved for a female detainee, most likely Reyes, who has been romantically linked to Enrile. Enrile has denied having an affair with Reyes but his wife Cristina confirmed the relationship in a recent television interview. “That’s a wife’s suspicion,” Enrile said then. But on Friday, Enrile was sad as he said goodbye to Cristina and their children and grandchildren, according to his lawyer Enrique de la Cruz. “He was sad. He kissed his wife, children and grandchildren. He told them: ‘Don’t cry. I’m not leaving. I will return. You wait for my return,’” De la Cruz recounted the departure scene at the Enrile residence on Morada Street, Dasmariñas Village. * READ MORE...

ALSO: At P30 per meal, no fine dining for Gigi Reyes in prison 

JULY 6 --Lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes will spend her first weekend as a prisoner in solitary confinement at the basement of the Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City, subsisting on a P30 meal ration. Which is a far cry from the five-star catered fare at the lavish parties that she used to be invited to or host for her relatives and friends. Reyes, who turned herself in at the antigraft court on Friday night, narrowly avoided sharing a prison cell with ordinary criminals after the Sandiganbayan Third Division issued a minute resolution ordering the warden of the Quezon City Jail (QCJ) to submit a report on the readiness of the prison to ensure Reyes’ safety. The court had originally released a commitment order for her to be detained at the cramped city jail. A senior police official said Reyes “cried incessantly” upon learning that the court had committed her to a regular jail full of hardened criminals. The source, who agreed to talk on condition that he would not be named, said Reyes could have avoided the situation if she had “honored” the agreement she allegedly made with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) last month. “Attorney Reyes was supposed to surrender to the CIDG so she could be detained at the PNP Custodial Center. But she apparently listened to her lawyers,” the source said. She could not stop crying when she was told that she would be taken to the city jail, he said. Dennis Pulma, the Third Division clerk of court, on Saturday said the court gave the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) three days to inform the Sandiganbayan about the condition of the women’s detention dorm of the Quezon City Jail. “While the court is awaiting the feedback of the BJMP about the adequacy of its facility and the means to secure the accused, she will be detained in the detention facility of the Sandiganbayan,” Pulma said in a phone interview. Family visits --He said Reyes’ family and friends have visited her. “She has also seen her lawyers who are allowed to see her. It’s a given,” Pulma said. Reyes is the former chief of staff of one of her coaccused, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is temporarily on hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame after the Sandiganbayan also issued a warrant for his arrest on Friday. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Former President Ramos visits Enrile at PNP hospital 

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile had a brief reunion of sorts Sunday afternoon after former President Fidel Ramos paid him a visit. Ramos visited Enrile at the Philippine National Police General Hospital, GMA News' Rida Reyes reported. The two had joined forces in 1986 to oust then President Ferdinand Marcos and install Corazon Aquino – incumbent President Benigno Aquino III's mother – into office. In a report on GMA News TV's "News TV Live" Ramos said they talked about the senator's condition. "He is not especially joyous... his room is small and can accommodate only two visitors... but he is okay. Sabi niya, 'lilipas din ito'," Ramos said referring to Enrile's disposition. Earlier Sunday, Enrile was brought to a Makati City clinic anew for a post-operative eye checkup. On Saturday, Enrile underwent a procedure to address macular degeneration, which could lead to blindness if not treated. The 90-year-old senator had been detained at the PNP General Hospital since Friday after surrendering there. He faces graft and plunder charges over the P10-billion pork barrel scam. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

(ALSO) Solons, CBCP to Palace: tell all on DAP 

Palace presumes pork-tainted execs innocent. Opposition lawmakers and Catholic bishops on Saturday demanded full disclosure by the Commission on Audit on all transactions involving the pork barrel and President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program even as Malacañang insists that those who figured in the DAP should be declared innocent until proven guilty. Members of the House Independent Minority Bloc pressed for a scrutiny of the DAP from 2010 up to the present in light of the Supreme Court ruling declaring Congress’ pork barrel and the President’s DAP as illegal and unconstitutional. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte took up the cudgels for Budget officials, saying that it is only fair to afford anyone, either opposition or administration, to have them undergo the legal process,” Valte said on state-run radio.The House bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that since the public could no longer expect Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, said to be the architect of DAP, to provide them a full accounting of funds, “it is the constitutional” duty of the CoA to reveal all the details of the pork barrel and DAP. The Budget and CoA stonewalled and deliberately prevented any full disclosure of all these public monies for obvious political reasons, said bloc member Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada party-list. “The Filipino people has the right to know. CoA chief Grace Pullido-Tan, an Aquino appointee and now the favorite to occupy the latest vacancy in the SC is duty-bound to disclose all the details of how public money was spent for the congressional pork and the President’s DAP,” de la Cruz said. He said it is now time that the people should know the total bill of government’s graft and corruption without any window-dressing and cover-up. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Typhoon ‘Florita’ intensifies but won’t make landfall  

Typhoon “Florita” (international name: Neoguri) intensified as it entered the Philippine area of responsibility early Sunday, although it is not expected to make landfall. Packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 120 kph, the eye of the typhoon was located 890 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan on Sunday afternoon and moving in a west northwest direction. The weather bureau Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) did not raise public storm signals. But it said the typhoon enhanced the southwest monsoon and will bring moderate rains and thunderstorm over the Bicol and Mimaropa regions and the Visayas.
The rest of Luzon will experience occasional rains, Pagasa said. The typhoon is also expected to bring about rough sea conditions, and fishing boats and other small sea craft were told not to venture out in the eastern seaboard of Luzon and Visayas. Pagasa issued a gale warning on Sunday, saying strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon and the Visayas. By Monday morning, Pagasa forecast the eye of the typhoon to be 530 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes. Since it is expected to maintain its west northwest path, Typhoon Florita is forecast to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility by Tuesday morning heading toward Taiwan, according to the weather bureau. Typhoon Florita is the sixth tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.
THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: 'Life will be better’ --storiesofgiving  

JULY 6 --PHOTO - Margarita Elunio (right) is not about to give up on her most earnest desire – to be able to earn enough for her children to get the education they need. VAL RODRIGUEZ MANILA, Philippines - In the fringes of Manila, a thousand, maybe a million, stories can be told of people living from day to day, scrounging for ways to put food on the table. Lives and ways of thinking commonly in disarray, many families are never too sure when or where their next meal will be. Orphaned at a young age and working her way through high school, Margarita Elunio could have well been consigned to such an existence. She has stared poverty in the face all too often, and has seen the tides come and go. Navigating one’s way through the narrow alleyways of Navotas to find her home can be quite an adventure. After rows and rows of small concrete houses, what you will eventually see is a lone structure made of bamboo and, for the most part, makeshift materials. “Huwag po kayo diyan tumuntong Sir, baka kayo mahulog (Careful where you step, Sir, you might fall),” Margarita addressed STAR chief photographer Val Rodriguez as she apologetically welcomed us into her home. Margarita’s home is a metaphor for her own life’s struggles, having survived the onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and Pedring, tattered and torn but still standing. She is, after all, a survivor. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Pope: No-work on Sundays is good, not just for faithful  

Pope Francis has lamented the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays, saying it has a negative impact on families and friendships. Francis on yesterday traveled to Molise, an agricultural region in the heart of southern Italy where unemployment is chronically high. While he said poor people need jobs to have dignity, he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn't beneficial for society. Francis said the priority should be "not economic but human," and that the stress should be on families and friendships, not commercial relationships. He added: "Maybe it's time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom." He said that spending Sundays with family and friends is an "ethical choice" for faithful and non-faithful alike. Francis, 77, appeared to have bounced back from a spate of illnesses which have caused him to cancel several appointments recently. He flew by helicopter to Molise for a full day of activity, including a lunch appointment with poor people and a visit to a prison. The pontiff moved energetically and smiled often as he greeted crowds. The Vatican had described the health problems as "mild" but did not elaborate. At one point, the pope, speaking off the cuff, encouraged parents to spend more time with children. He quipped: "Waste time with your children!" He said he liked to ask parents, "do you play with your children?" Francis is returning to Vatican City later yesterday. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


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After Revilla-Estrada ‘teleserye,’ Enrile wrapped in privacy


Senator Juan Ponce Enrile at Camp Crame on the way to the PNP Hospital. The Sandiganbayan has ordered Enrile’s arrest in connection with the plunder and graft cases filed by the Ombudsman. LEO SABANGAN/INQUIRER

MANILA, JULY 6, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Erika Sauler and TJ Burgonio - Unlike the show-biz atmosphere that surrounded the arrest of Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada last month, the detention of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile on plunder and graft charges over the P10-billion pork barrel scam is turning out to be a private affair.

Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police, said Saturday that Enrile’s family had asked for “privacy” for the 90-year-old former Senate president, Edsa People Power Revolution hero and martial law enforcer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Upon request of [Senator Enrile’s] family through their lawyers, we will not be releasing mug shots and all other updates to the public or the media,” Sindac said in a text message on Saturday.

No interviews

Unlike the families of movie actors Revilla and Estrada who talked with journalists and brought fiesta food and celebrity visitors into the PNP Custodial Center, Enrile’s children, Katrina and former Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, shunned interviews with reporters when they visited him at the PNP General Hospital after his eye checkup in Makati City on Saturday morning.

Police officials and the camps of Revilla and Estrada gave information about the two senators’ detention at the Custodial Center, leading to stories about rats and cockroaches in the lawmakers’ cells and to all-night partying that have proven true, as the carousing has drawn a well-reported mass protest from at least 58 detainees at the PNP.

Right to privacy

But even prisoners have a right to privacy, and the PNP, by approving the family’s request, is apparently respecting Enrile’s.

* “We’re no longer allowed to give interviews,” Enrile’s lawyer Enrique de la Cruz said in a text message.

De la Cruz said the senator’s son Jack had been designated spokesperson for the family.

Before 7 a.m. Saturday, the authorities took Enrile from the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame, Quezon City, to Asian Eye Institute in Makati City for an eye checkup.

Going blind

“This is done whenever there’s a need for it. Otherwise, I’ll go blind,” Enrile said in a brief television interview.

Enrile is suffering from age-related macular degeneration in the right eye. He needs regular treatment to prevent loss of vision in that eye.

Enrile thanked the police for the courteous treatment they are giving him.

“I thank the police for treating me very kindly,” he said.

His lawyers have yet to decide whether to ask for his transfer to a better hospital Jack Enrile told a television interview last Friday night that the family was deferring to the lawyers on a decision to move his father to another hospital.

“I don’t know what his legal team’s plans are. Maybe tomorrow, or another day, he can be transferred to another hospital. But we leave it up to the legal team to decide on that, as well as to the wisdom of the court,” he said.

Temporary stay

Enrile’s lawyer Joseph Sagandoy said the PNP General Hospital was “better” than the bungalow at the Custodial Center.

“Yes, it would appear that his temporary hospital detention is better for him because of the immediate availability of medical facilities and personnel,” Sagandoy said in a text message.

Sagandoy said, however, that Enrile’s stay in the hospital was only “temporary.”

“We will file the appropriate motion depending on the recommendation of his doctors. It will be the court that will finally decide on the matter,” he said. “We will decide on that next week.”

Sagandoy said he was not aware of any agreement between the Enrile camp and the PNP for the senator to be held in a hospital.

PDAF scam

Enrile, Revilla and Estrada are the principal accused in the pork barrel scam, an elaborate scheme to embezzle billions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Enrile is accused of pocketing P174 million, Revilla P224.5 million and Estrada P183.7 million in kickbacks from PDAF-funded, phantom projects allegedly hatched by Napoles over a period of 10 years up to 2012.

Three hundred forty-three days after the Inquirer exposed the pork barrel scam on July 12 last year, the Sandiganbayan ordered Revilla arrested on June 20, Estrada on June 23 and Enrile last Friday.

Napoles has been under police custody since Aug. 28, but on a separate charge of serious illegal detention brought by Benhur Luy, the principal witness in the pork barrel scam cases.

Influential aide

Also ordered arrested on plunder charges last Friday was Enrile’s former chief of staff, lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the so-called 24th senator because of her influence in the chamber when Enrile was president of the 15th Senate, which had 23 members. The 16th Senate, which sat in July last year, has the full membership of 24.

Reyes is held in the detention cell in the basement of the Sandiganbayan building. The court may order her transfer to Camp Karingal in Quezon City on Monday.

Why not at Camp Crame?

It remains unclear why Reyes is being held elsewhere when the police have said that the fourth room in the four-room, newly renovated detention bungalow at the PNP Custodial Center has been prepared for a female detainee.

That could only be Reyes, who returned to the Philippines, after fleeing to another country last year, to face the charges against her.

Another female accused, Pauline Labayen, a member of Estrada’s staff, has been out of the country before the hold departure orders were issued by the justice department.

Enrile in hospital arrest; Gigi Reyes at QC jail By Philippine Daily Inquirer |Dona Z. Pazzibugan and TJ Burgonio2:16 am | Saturday, July 5th, 2014


“TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOM,” Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile tells his daughter Katrina as he gives her a tight hug before being escorted to the PNP hospital. His coaccused and former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes (at right), surrendered to the Sandiganbayan, which ordered her detention in the basement of the antigraft court until Monday. COMPOSITE: BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP AND RAFFY LERMA

They will miss each other. But maybe not for long.

Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile turned himself in to the Philippine National Police on Friday afternoon after the Sandiganbayan Third Division ordered his arrest.

But his former chief of staff and coaccused, lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, who was also ordered arrested, is not detained in the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City, where Enrile, 90, is being held in a police hospital.

At 7 on Friday night, the court ordered Reyes held at the Sandiganbayan detention cell over the weekend. The court ordered that she be moved to the Quezon City Jail on Monday for her to be detained there while on trial with Enrile on plunder charges.

Plunder is a nonbailable offense.

Police sources have said the last of the four rooms in the newly renovated detention bungalow was reserved for a female detainee, most likely Reyes, who has been romantically linked to Enrile.

Enrile has denied having an affair with Reyes but his wife Cristina confirmed the relationship in a recent television interview.

“That’s a wife’s suspicion,” Enrile said then.

But on Friday, Enrile was sad as he said goodbye to Cristina and their children and grandchildren, according to his lawyer Enrique de la Cruz.

“He was sad. He kissed his wife, children and grandchildren. He told them: ‘Don’t cry. I’m not leaving. I will return. You wait for my return,’” De la Cruz recounted the departure scene at the Enrile residence on Morada Street, Dasmariñas Village.

* Later at Camp Crame, a ranking police official who saw Enrile while he was being booked said the senator visibly tried to fight off his emotions as his two children, Katrina and former Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, watched policemen take their father’s fingerprints and mug shots.

“He was trying his best to be relaxed and be jolly. He was smiling, but you could see the sadness in his eyes,” the police official said.

He said Enrile tightly hugged his son for a few minutes before boarding the ambulance that would take him to the PNP General Hospital.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be OK. Just take care of your mommy,” the police official quoted Enrile as telling his son.

“It was a very emotional and touching moment, a father saying goodbye to his son,” he added.

Arrest order

In a decision dated July 3 but issued only on Friday afternoon, the Third Division ordered the arrests of Enrile, Reyes, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, her nephew Ronald John Lim and her driver-bodyguard John Raymund de Asis on plunder charges brought against them by the Ombudsman on June 6.

The court issued the arrest order after denying Enrile’s and Napoles’ motions to dismiss the charges against them for lack of evidence.

The court also denied Enrile’s bail petition, saying it was premature.

Enrile is accused of embezzling P174 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in conspiracy with Napoles, Reyes and the others.

This is the third time for the former justice secretary, Senate President and martial law enforcer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be arrested. (See What Went Before.)

Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, chair of the Third Division, and division members Associate Justices Samuel Martires and Alex Quiroz signed the arrest order.

The three justices went home after issuing the order but returned to the court to discuss Reyes’ commitment.

Reyes did not ask the court to order her detention at the PNP Custodial Center where Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are also being held on plunder charges.

But maybe there’s a chance that Reyes will not be sharing jail time with hardened criminals.

The court ordered the Quezon City jail warden to report within three days whether the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology had “adequate facility” to detain her at the city jail.

Arrest came fast

While he had anticipated it, Enrile didn’t expect that the Sandiganbayan would so quickly order his arrest.

When the order came, Enrile motored in an eight-vehicle convoy from his home in Dasmariñas Village in Makati City to the PNP headquarters in Quezon City for booking, without fanfare.

Before leaving for Camp Crame, Enrile rolled down the window of a white Chevrolet Suburban to greet reporters outside his home at 2305 Morado Street. He did not issue a statement.

His son and daughter followed him in another car, De la Cruz said on radio dzMM.

“It has always been his intention that once the warrant comes out, he will voluntarily surrender. He’s merely fulfilling his promise,” De la Cruz said.

“He was expecting this, but not this fast. We thought it was going to come next week. He has an eye operation tomorrow morning at Asian Eye Center in Rockwell. So we were expecting this to come out next week, perhaps Monday,” he added.

De la Cruz did not say what was wrong with Enrile’s eye and which eye.

He said Enrile had filed several manifestations and the Sandiganbayan Third Division was still sifting through the voluminous documents submitted by the Ombudsman.

A laugh before leaving

Enrile and his Senate staff shared a laugh before he left for Camp Crame.

“My boss is not afraid to spend time in jail, especially now because he knows he did nothing wrong,” said one of Enrile’s staff members, who agreed to talk to the Inquirer but on condition of anonymity.
“He’s been through situations like this before. We know he can defend himself against the accusation against him,” the staff member said.

Amused
The source said Enrile was “amused” at the sight of news crews tailing the convoy of vehicles taking him to the police camp.

“Senator Enrile was actually laughing while he was monitoring the news on radio. He was amused by how the TV crews were able to tail our vehicle,” the source said.

Enrile’s lawyers said they would file a motion to set a hearing on his motion for bail, which the Sandiganbayan said was premature.

Enrile had said his indictment for plunder and graft was an opportunity to prove his innocence.

He said he would show that Reyes did not receive any kickbacks for him, as alleged by star witness Ruby Tuason.
Enrile’s convoy arrived at Camp Crame at 5:30 p.m.

Booking, checkup

Enrile, dressed in a polo barong, gave Katrina one last, tight hug and submitted himself for booking.

“He told us to take care of my mom,” Katrina told reporters after her father was booked.

The booking took an hour, as Enrile had to rest after each stage, going to the toilet at least twice.

Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said Enrile’s blood pressure was 200/90 while his pulse rate was 84.

Enrile’s lawyers, however, gave different figures: 210/90 on arrival and 190/90 on leaving for the PNP General Hospital.

“His temporary hospital confinement was recommended for further observation due to his medical condition,” Sindac said.

Although Enrile had no complaints while being booked, PNP doctors noted a heart murmur, or abnormal heart sound.

Sindac said Enrile was taking medicines for hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, vertigo, blood thinners, antianemia injectibles and multivitamins.

Enrile will be confined in an air-conditioned room at the police hospital, where a nurse and a personal assistant will be allowed to monitor him with PNP doctors, Sindac said.

As in the arrests of Senators Revilla and Estrada last month, Malacañang said Enrile’s arrest was a “step forward” in the search for the truth about the alleged misuse of the PDAF.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte urged the public to “remain vigilant” as the pork barrel scam cases moved through the courts.

President Aquino has said he favored the grant of humanitarian consideration to Enrile because of the Senate minority leader’s advanced age. With reports from Marlon Ramos, Julie M. Aurelio, Nikko Dizon and AFP

At P30 per meal, no fine dining for Gigi Reyes in prison By Marlon Ramos |Philippine Daily Inquirer4:00 am | Sunday, July 6th, 2014


Atty. Jessica 'Gigi' Reyes Chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile arrived at the Sandigan Bayan after the 3rd division issued a warrant of arrest for plunder case. POOL PHOTO


Lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes will spend her first weekend as a prisoner in solitary confinement at the basement of the Sandiganbayan building in Quezon City, subsisting on a P30 meal ration. Which is a far cry from the five-star catered fare at the lavish parties that she used to be invited to or host for her relatives and friends.

Reyes, who turned herself in at the antigraft court on Friday night, narrowly avoided sharing a prison cell with ordinary criminals after the Sandiganbayan Third Division issued a minute resolution ordering the warden of the Quezon City Jail (QCJ) to submit a report on the readiness of the prison to ensure Reyes’ safety.

The court had originally released a commitment order for her to be detained at the cramped city jail.

A senior police official said Reyes “cried incessantly” upon learning that the court had committed her to a regular jail full of hardened criminals.

The source, who agreed to talk on condition that he would not be named, said Reyes could have avoided the situation if she had “honored” the agreement she allegedly made with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) last month.

“Attorney Reyes was supposed to surrender to the CIDG so she could be detained at the PNP Custodial Center. But she apparently listened to her lawyers,” the source said.

She could not stop crying when she was told that she would be taken to the city jail, he said.

Dennis Pulma, the Third Division clerk of court, on Saturday said the court gave the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) three days to inform the Sandiganbayan about the condition of the women’s detention dorm of the Quezon City Jail.

“While the court is awaiting the feedback of the BJMP about the adequacy of its facility and the means to secure the accused, she will be detained in the detention facility of the Sandiganbayan,” Pulma said in a phone interview.
Family visits
He said Reyes’ family and friends have visited her.

“She has also seen her lawyers who are allowed to see her. It’s a given,” Pulma said.

Reyes is the former chief of staff of one of her coaccused, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is temporarily on hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame after the Sandiganbayan also issued a warrant for his arrest on Friday.

* Enrile and Reyes were among the 54 personalities ordered arrested for plunder and graft in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel racket allegedly hatched by detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

The Sandiganbayan also issued separate arrest warrants for Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada on the same charges. The two are detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

Reyes, who is about 40 years Enrile’s junior, has been romantically linked to the senator since 1998, an allegation Enrile has vehemently denied.

First Sandiganbayan inmate

Pulma said Reyes was occupying a 23.5-square meter cell in the basement of the Sandiganbayan building.

He said Enrile’s former aide is the first to be detained in the cell, which the antigraft court ordered constructed in December 2013 in line with the government’s “gender sensitivity and development” program.

“Part of the government’s gender sensitivity program is to have separate detention facilities for male and female prisoners. Attorney Reyes is the first to use our gender-responsive detention facility,” Pulma said.

He said the room has a single bed, a small kitchen sink and a toilet. A stand fan had to be brought in since the room’s ceiling fan was broken, he added.

He said the antigraft court would only provide food worth P30 per meal for Reyes, but her visitors are allowed to bring in some food.

On Saturday, she was served with rice and ginataang puso ng saging (heart of banana in coconut milk) for lunch. Reyes only had coffee for breakfast, Pulma said.

An adjacent room outside the tightly guarded cell has been designated as a receiving area where Reyes can meet with visitors, he said.

Inspection by justices

Pulma said Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang, who chairs the Third Division, and division member Associate Justice Alex Quiroz went to inspect Reyes’ cell on Saturday.

He said Tang asked the security personnel about any specific concerns regarding the cell.

“It was a brief routine check as part of her duties as the presiding justice. It was not a visit in particular to accused Attorney Reyes. They never met, they never talked,” Pulma said.

He said a doctor who checked on Reyes said she was “medically OK.”

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Former President Ramos visits Enrile at PNP hospital July 6, 2014 4:29pm 5 38 0 51 Tags: Bantay Kaban , Juan Ponce Enrile


View image on Twitter GMA News ✔ @gmanews Follow FVR, bumisita kay Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile sa PNP General Hospital ngayong hapon. | via @Rida_Reyes 3:37 AM - 6 Jul 2014

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile had a brief reunion of sorts Sunday afternoon after former President Fidel Ramos paid him a visit.

Ramos visited Enrile at the Philippine National Police General Hospital, GMA News' Rida Reyes reported.

The two had joined forces in 1986 to oust then President Ferdinand Marcos and install Corazon Aquino – incumbent President Benigno Aquino III's mother – into office.

In a report on GMA News TV's "News TV Live" Ramos said they talked about the senator's condition.

"He is not especially joyous... his room is small and can accommodate only two visitors... but he is okay. Sabi niya, 'lilipas din ito'," Ramos said referring to Enrile's disposition.

Earlier Sunday, Enrile was brought to a Makati City clinic anew for a post-operative eye checkup.

On Saturday, Enrile underwent a procedure to address macular degeneration, which could lead to blindness if not treated.

The 90-year-old senator had been detained at the PNP General Hospital since Friday after surrendering there.

He faces graft and plunder charges over the P10-billion pork barrel scam. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Solons, CBCP: tell all on DAP By Maricel Cruz | Jul. 06, 2014 at 12:01am

Palace presumes pork-tainted execs innocent


PALACE: PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III

Opposition lawmakers and Catholic bishops on Saturday demanded full disclosure by the Commission on Audit on all transactions involving the pork barrel and President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program even as Malacañang insists that those who figured in the DAP should be declared innocent until proven guilty.

Members of the House Independent Minority Bloc pressed for a scrutiny of the DAP from 2010 up to the present in light of the Supreme Court ruling declaring Congress’ pork barrel and the President’s DAP as illegal and unconstitutional.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte took up the cudgels for Budget officials, saying that it is only fair to afford anyone, either opposition or administration, to have them undergo the legal process,” Valte said on state-run radio.

The House bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that since the public could no longer expect Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, said to be the architect of DAP, to provide them a full accounting of funds, “it is the constitutional” duty of the CoA to reveal all the details of the pork barrel and DAP.

The Budget and CoA stonewalled and deliberately prevented any full disclosure of all these public monies for obvious political reasons, said bloc member Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada party-list.

“The Filipino people has the right to know. CoA chief Grace Pullido-Tan, an Aquino appointee and now the favorite to occupy the latest vacancy in the SC is duty-bound to disclose all the details of how public money was spent for the congressional pork and the President’s DAP,” de la Cruz said.

He said it is now time that the people should know the total bill of government’s graft and corruption without any window-dressing and cover-up.

* The bloc’s demand for an audit of DAP was also raised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines which prodded the COA and the office of the Ombudsman to tell the nation where DAP funds went.

The CBCP reiterated its warning against selective justice and urged government to “let go” of those involved, even if they are from its ranks.

In a statement signed by CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said: “While, indeed, in many cases, it would be impractical, unhelpful even, to undo every project funded by what the High Court has ruled to be unconstitutional means, we must nevertheless know how these monies were used, for where there was illegal and immoral application of funds, there must be restitution.”

Villegas stressed the need for accountability, adding that investigation and inquest “cannot and must not be selective.”

A public perception that some are shielded while others are persecuted “detracts from the confidence people must repose in their institutions,” Villegas said.

“A government that professes to tread the straight path must remain true to that profession and must be willing to let go of the corrupt in its own ranks! We in the Church will do the same,” he said.

The prosecution and punishment “of a few will not rid the nation of the propensity to corruption that is found in us all,” he said.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, for his part, urged the House leadership headed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. to act on his resolution seeking a congressional inquiry into the so-called presidential pork.

Ridon, being one of the petitioners against DAP, also filed last year House Resolution 359 which urged the joint House committees on appropriations and on good government and public accountability to investigate the DAP. Ridon is set to file an impeachment case against President Aquino over DAP.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, one of the petitioners against the PDAF DAP, said “the DAP exposes the hypocrisy of the Aquino administration’s hallow, selective and even deceptive anti-corruption campaign.”

“For this gravely unconstitutional act, President Aquino , Secretary (Florencio) Abad and all those responsible for DAP must be made accountable, in the same manner that those involved in the PDAF [priority development assistance funds] are to be made accountable,” Zarate said.

Zarate said that a full accounting of all government transactions involving the legislators’ priority development assistance funds and the President’s pork barrel funds in the guise of DAP was in order to determine the extent of corruption under the Aquino government harping on “Daang Matuwid.”

Last November, the SC declared the legislators’ PDAF unconstitutional under 2013 General Appropriations Act and all similar provisions on the pork barrel system as illegal because “it allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradiations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions (thus violating) the principle of separation of powers.”

The legality of PDAF was questioned in light of the Napoles scandal involving multi-million peso people’s money.

The High Court last week declared President Aquino’s DAP unconstitutional, saying the President and other public officials as respodents to the DAP case violated the doctrine of separation of powers.

The DAP came under fire last year after several senators disclosed that program funds were used as “incentives” for legislators who supported the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012.

FROM THE INQUIRER

‘Florita’ intensifies but won’t make landfall By Dona Z. Pazzibugan |Philippine Daily Inquirer6:45 pm | Sunday, July 6th, 2014


PAGASA Track as of 2 p.m., 06 July 2014

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon “Florita” (international name: Neoguri) intensified as it entered the Philippine area of responsibility early Sunday, although it is not expected to make landfall.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 120 kph, the eye of the typhoon was located 890 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan on Sunday afternoon and moving in a west northwest direction.

The weather bureau Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) did not raise public storm signals.

But it said the typhoon enhanced the southwest monsoon and will bring moderate rains and thunderstorm over the Bicol and Mimaropa regions and the Visayas.

The rest of Luzon will experience occasional rains, Pagasa said.

The typhoon is also expected to bring about rough sea conditions, and fishing boats and other small sea craft were told not to venture out in the eastern seaboard of Luzon and Visayas.

Pagasa issued a gale warning on Sunday, saying strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon and the Visayas.

By Monday morning, Pagasa forecast the eye of the typhoon to be 530 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.

Since it is expected to maintain its west northwest path, Typhoon Florita is forecast to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility by Tuesday morning heading toward Taiwan, according to the weather bureau.

Typhoon Florita is the sixth tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.

FROM PHILSTAR

Life will be better’ #28storiesofgiving By Abby Rebong (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 6, 2014 - 12:00am 1 151 googleplus0 6


Margarita Elunio (right) is not about to give up on her most earnest desire – to be able to earn enough for her children to get the education they need. VAL RODRIGUEZ

MANILA, Philippines - In the fringes of Manila, a thousand, maybe a million, stories can be told of people living from day to day, scrounging for ways to put food on the table.

Lives and ways of thinking commonly in disarray, many families are never too sure when or where their next meal will be.

Orphaned at a young age and working her way through high school, Margarita Elunio could have well been consigned to such an existence. She has stared poverty in the face all too often, and has seen the tides come and go.

Navigating one’s way through the narrow alleyways of Navotas to find her home can be quite an adventure. After rows and rows of small concrete houses, what you will eventually see is a lone structure made of bamboo and, for the most part, makeshift materials.

“Huwag po kayo diyan tumuntong Sir, baka kayo mahulog (Careful where you step, Sir, you might fall),” Margarita addressed STAR chief photographer Val Rodriguez as she apologetically welcomed us into her home.

Margarita’s home is a metaphor for her own life’s struggles, having survived the onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and Pedring, tattered and torn but still standing. She is, after all, a survivor.

* Margarita tells us that when she was in high school, she made it as an honor student, but later had to forego her dreams because of limited financial means. This is why the education that eluded her is the one gift she wants her children to enjoy and nurture.

While she dreams of a better home – a better life – she says that can wait.

“Focus ko ngayon talaga ay yung pag-aaral ng mga anak ko (I want to make sure that my children finish school),” she shares.

Maurine, the elder of the two, is a Rotary scholar taking up a degree in education at the Navotas Polytechnic College and a civic-minded student leader. The youngest, Monica, is taking up a degree in human resources.

“Kahit wala kaming kainin, basta ang mga anak ko, nag-aaral (It does not matter if we have to give up on food, as long as my children go to school),” she adds, as if to stress that where poverty exists, people have no choice but to give up one for the other.

“Pag tipid yung pagkain namin, ang ulam namin chicharon, sardinas o hati-hati sa isang itlog (When we have to scrimp on food, we eat pork rind or sardines, or we share an egg),” she narrates.

Together with common-law husband Patricio, Margarita is a fixture on the fish ports of Navotas. Their trade consists of helping out fishermen and gathering shellfish whenever they could. For the effort, they earn P200 a day – sometimes less, sometimes more.

Aside from her two youngest children, the couple also supports two grandchildren, one of their elder daughters, and an adoptive daughter who is actually a distant relative.

Despite their station in life, Margarita remains hopeful and draws resolve from her hardworking nature.

Her daughter, Maurine, is graduating soon, and actively serves the church and the community.

“Mababait yang mga anak ko (They are good children),” she says, not hiding the fact that she is proud of her children.

Margarita dreams of saving up for a banca that would help augment the family’s income.

“Kung magkakaron kami ng ganon, pagyayamanin namin kasi alam namin ang takbo ng dagat (If we could get one of those, we will take care of it because we know the ways of the sea),” she shares. They can take care of motorizing the boat eventually, she adds, they just need something to start with.

While her house looks shabby and rundown, she knows that a fishing boat will serve the family in better stead in the long run.

“Kapag bumabagyo, pinapanood lang namin kung babagsak, pero sa awa naman ng Diyos, nakatayo kahit na kawa-kawayan lang (Whenever there’s a typhoon, we just wait and see if it will collapse, but thank God, it endures even if made only of bamboo),” she shares.

Indeed, Margarita’s home is a metaphor for her life’s struggles – tattered and torn but standing proud. Sometimes, it is all she has, even when passing storms disrupt their daily routine.

She is, after all, a survivor.

Pope: No-work Sundays is good, not just for faithful (Associated Press) | Updated July 6, 2014 - 7:02am 2 118 googleplus0 0


Pope Francis delivers his speech in front of Isernia's cathedral, southern Italy, Saturday, July 5, 2014. Francis on Saturday traveled to Molise, an agricultural region in the heart of southern Italy, where unemployment is chronically high. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)

CAMPOBASSO — Pope Francis has lamented the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays, saying it has a negative impact on families and friendships.

Francis on yesterday traveled to Molise, an agricultural region in the heart of southern Italy where unemployment is chronically high. While he said poor people need jobs to have dignity, he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn't beneficial for society.

Francis said the priority should be "not economic but human," and that the stress should be on families and friendships, not commercial relationships. He added: "Maybe it's time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom."

He said that spending Sundays with family and friends is an "ethical choice" for faithful and non-faithful alike.

Francis, 77, appeared to have bounced back from a spate of illnesses which have caused him to cancel several appointments recently. He flew by helicopter to Molise for a full day of activity, including a lunch appointment with poor people and a visit to a prison.

The pontiff moved energetically and smiled often as he greeted crowds. The Vatican had described the health problems as "mild" but did not elaborate.

At one point, the pope, speaking off the cuff, encouraged parents to spend more time with children. He quipped: "Waste time with your children!" He said he liked to ask parents, "do you play with your children?"

Francis is returning to Vatican City later yesterday.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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