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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

A 'GAME CHANGER': ENRILE RETURNS TO SENATE
[SENATORS EXCITED. SC GRANTS 91-YEAR-OLD SENATOR BAIL]


AUGUST 19 --Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile may walk out of detention Wednesday. INQUIRER PHOTO Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s return to the Senate as a likely leader of the opposition after more than a year under detention on plunder charges could very well be a potential “game changer” in the so-called last two minutes of the Aquino administration.
Granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a mountain of work awaits the 91-year-old senator, not the least of which is his input during the upcoming plenary on the draft charter of Bangsamoro substate, envisioned by Malacañang as President Aquino’s legacy of lasting peace in strife-torn Mindanao. Senators are excited to see Enrile back, after his surrender to the Philippine National Police on July 4, 2014, on a charge that he pocketed P172 million in kickbacks from the alleged diversion to ghost projects and fake agencies of his allocation from  congressional pork fund meant to alleviate the rural poor. Enrile is expected to resume his position as minority leader, according to Sen. Vicente Sotto III, the acting minority leader. For Senate President Franklin Drilon, it was as though Enrile was always there in the chamber although physically absent. “He has never abandoned his work, anyway. He continued to perform the functions of a senator except attending the sessions,” Drilon told reporters. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who had tussled with Enrile on the Senate floor, said he respected the court ruling. “Let’s just say it’s a game changer as far as some internal dynamics or even external dynamics of the political environment are concerned. We’ll see how it goes. It can work for the opposition, it can work against the administration, so we’ll see,” he told reporters. READ MORE...RELATED 'ENRILE RARING TO COME BACK TO TACKLE BBL, SEA DISPUTE......'

ALSO: Enrile out on bail, says his faith in justness of Judiciary vindicated
["I would go back to my work and have no interest except the interest of our country,”]


AUGUST 20 --At Sandigan Senator Juan Ponce Enrile wears a smile  where he posted bail for his provisional release. PHOTO /Marc Cayabyab
AFTER one year in hospital detention, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is now a free man, for now. Leaving his detention place in the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital at 5:55 p.m., the 91-year-old senator arrived at the Sandiganbayan at 6:30 p.m. to appear for the application of his P1.45 million bail as he faces trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam. “Today I’ve been released out of custody. I would like to state for the record that my faith in the probity and justness of our Judiciary has been vindicated,” Enrile said in a brief interview. 
“I would go back to my work and have no interest except the interest of our country,” he added. Clerk of Court Third Division Atty. Dennis Pulma signed the release order served on the accused party. Meanwhile, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang approved the bail application. Pulma said Enrile’s bail is only for his provisional release as he still faces trial for plunder for alleged involvement in the scheme of spending his Priority Devpt  Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks. Enrile’s lawyers paid the P1.45 million bail in 14 bundles of P100,000 cash each counted with the aid of a machine at the Sandiganbayan cashier. The bail was paid after the Sandigan issued the produce order instructing the police to bring Enrile to court for the processing of his bail application for plunder case filed against him, ordinarily a non-bailable offense. Enrile posted bail after the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday in a vote of 8-4 granted his motion to reverse the Sandiganbayan Third Division’s ruling, which denied his bail plea. The decision came exactly a week after the SC sided with Enrile’s request for bill of particulars in the plunder case stemming from his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam. The Supreme Court set the bail amount at P1 million. On top of the P30,000 bail for each of 15 graft charges, Enrile paid a total amount of P1.45 million. Enrile went to the Supreme Court after the Sandigan Third Division last year denied his motion that he be allowed to post bail. In his 70-page petition for certiorari filed Sept. 4, 2014, Enrile said he should be allowed to post bail since the prosecution failed to present strong evidence against him and that the charges “cannot be considered a capital offense.” READ MORE...RELATED STORY...

ALSO: Sandigan to open office on holiday to process Enrile's bail


AUGUST 18 --The Sandiganbayan Third Division has yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court's (SC) decision on the petition for bail of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
According to Sandiganbayan Third Division spokesman Atty. Dennis Pulma, since offices at the anti-graft court close at 5 p.m., they may instead receive the copy on Wednesday even if it is a local holiday in Quezon City. August 19, which marks Quezon City Day, is a non-working holiday. Pulma said court personnel will be assigned in the cashier's office and docket section to process Enrile's bail. As soon as they receive their copy of the high court's decision, they will order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to bring Enrile to the Sandiganbayan for him to personally post bail. The high court, voting 8-4, allowed Enrile to post bail at P1 million in connection with his plunder trial stemming from his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam. Enrile had argued that he is not a flight risk and that the evidence against him is weak. The senator also cited in his petition his advanced age and voluntary surrender. READ MORE...

ALSO: Confronting judiciary again? Noynoy orders state lawyers to review JPE bail


AUGUST 23 --PALACE SAYS AQUINO WANTS TO BE GUIDED ON NEW SC RULING Risking a new confrontation with the judiciary, President Aquino ordered state lawyers to review the latest Supreme Court (SC) ruling that allowed Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile to post bail citing his frail health early this week. Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said on radio that the review will only guide Aquino on “the parameters of granting the bail and steps after,” as she claimed that such clarification will help the executive implement the decision across the board. “The President wanted to be clarified really on what it means because bail based on humanitarian grounds is something new… The President’s reflex every time a Supreme Court decision comes out is to study the text,” she said. “Certainly, it needs to be clarified since it is a new doctrine, the parameters of granting bail on humanitarian grounds must also be clarified. It is something that’s needed to be done to guide the executive in the future when it comes to implementing (the decision),” Valte added. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who recommended the detention of Enrile along with the other two Palace targets Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla for plunder in relation to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, said the SC’s ruling made the Philippines a “banana republic.”  “I can understand that Secretary De Lima has strong feelings for this given that she herself has seen the investigation since the DoJ conducted the investigation,” Valte said. “We really can’t say for now (if it follows the straight path). There are other legal remedies available to government. Let us see if the finality issue will be settled on the new doctrine of bail on humanitarian consideration,” she added. Several experts said that the SC’s granting of Enrile to post bail is a precedent for other political trophies of Aquino such as former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since she also filed a similar petition citing her poor health condition. READ MORE... RELATED....

ALSO: Grand old man returns to Senate


MORE than a year after he was detained for plunder and graft for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will be back at the Senate today, Monday.The senator gained temporary freedom last week after the Supreme Court (SC), through an 8-4 vote, allowed him to post bail.Enrile’s daughter, Katrina Ponce Enrile, said her father wants to attend sessions and perform his duty as a lawmaker as much as he can because that is his job. “As a senator he needs to earn his keep. It is not proper for him to receive his salary and yet not reporting for work. That is why if he is given a chance to work, he will take it,” she said in a radio interview.
Katrina dismissed views that Enrile, 91, will be contradicting the basis for his bail grant if he decides go back to work.The senator, in his petition for bail, cited as mitigating circumstances his advanced age and voluntary surrender.“It’s a fact na matanda na ang tatay ko, marami na siyang karamdaman pero buhay pa siya at pwede pa siyang maglakad. Kung pwede siyang pumasok ay papasok siya pero kung hindi naman nya talaga kaya then that’s the time na talagang hindi siya papasok [My father is old and he already has a lot of ailments but he is still alive and he can still walk. If he can go to work, he will work, as long as he can],” Katrina explained.
She said her father was already suffering from a slew of diseases before he surrendered to the police in July last year. Enrile, the minority leader, was detained in Camp Crame in Quezon City. The Sandiganbayan eventually allowed him to be placed under hospital arrest. Katrina said her father was suffering from high blood pressure when he presided over the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. READ MORE...

ALSO: Enrile family thanks Supreme Court


AUGUST 19 --Jack Enrile. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s family thanked the Supreme Court Justices on Wednesday “for their kindness and compassion” in allowing the 91-year-old senator to post bail. “On behalf of my mother Cristina, and the rest of my family, I wish to thank the Supreme Court Justices for their kindness and compassion in allowing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail,” Enrile’s son and namesake, former Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr. said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate this opportunity to have our father back in our home and in our care. It is our intention to help him through the defense of his honor and decades of serving his most beloved nation,” he said.  SC will treat his case ‘positively,’ says daughter Katrina The former congressman said the high tribunal has once again “demonstrated its wisdom and abiding commitment to justice at a time when our country is rife with political maneuverings.” “To the Justices of the Supreme Court, taos-puso po kaming nagpapa-salamat (we thank you from the bottom of our hearts),” Enrile’s son added. The statement was issued a day after the SC granted Enrile’s petition for bail. Enrile has been under hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame in Quezon City on plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam. Two other senators — Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. have also been charged and detained at the PNP Custodial Center over the same issue. Maila Ager/IDL  THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Enrile returns to Senate
[SC GRANTS 91-YEAR-OLD SENATOR BAIL]


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile may walk out of detention Wednesday. INQUIRER PHOTO

MANILA, AUGUST 24, 2015
(INQUIRER) @inquirerdotnet 01:46 AM August 19th, 2015 - Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s return to the Senate as a likely leader of the opposition after more than a year under detention on plunder charges could very well be a potential “game changer” in the so-called last two minutes of the Aquino administration.

Granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a mountain of work awaits the 91-year-old senator, not the least of which is his input during the upcoming plenary on the draft charter of a Bangsamoro substate, envisioned by Malacañang as President Aquino’s legacy of lasting peace in strife-torn Mindanao.

Senators are excited to see Enrile back, after his surrender to the Philippine National Police on July 4, 2014, on a charge that he pocketed P172 million in kickbacks from the alleged diversion to ghost projects and fake agencies of his allocation from a congressional pork fund meant to alleviate the rural poor.

Enrile is expected to resume his position as minority leader, according to Sen. Vicente Sotto III, the acting minority leader.

For Senate President Franklin Drilon, it was as though Enrile was always there in the chamber although physically absent.

“He has never abandoned his work, anyway. He continued to perform the functions of a senator except attending the sessions,” Drilon told reporters.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who had tussled with Enrile on the Senate floor, said he respected the court ruling.


FLASHBACK September 20, 2012 12:38pm: Trillanes confirms moves to oust Enrile 
as head of the chamber. "Yes and I'm still working and hoping for it," Trillanes told GMA News Online in a text message. He refused, however, to elaborate on the matter. GMA NEWS

“Let’s just say it’s a game changer as far as some internal dynamics or even external dynamics of the political environment are concerned. We’ll see how it goes. It can work for the opposition, it can work against the administration, so we’ll see,” Trillanes told reporters.

READ MORE...

8-4 vote

In an 8-4 vote, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Enrile to post bail while on trial for his alleged role in the diversion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation to bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in a scheme attributed to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.


SC
spokesman Theodore Te

In a one-paragraph media brief issued following a Supreme Court en banc session, spokesman Theodore Te said:

“The court granted the petition for bail of petitioner Juan Ponce Enrile, subject to the terms and conditions to be specified by the court in its order, which will be forthcoming.”

Te did not elaborate. But inside court sources said the high tribunal granted the elderly senator temporary liberty for humanitarian reasons, setting bail at P1 million.

Court insiders said eight magistrates—all appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo—sided with Enrile: Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez and Jose Mendoza. Four dissented: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Marvic Leonen.
Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited himself from voting due to his previous participation in the case as Solicitor General.

Enrile, who has been under hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame since July last year, had asked the high court in September last year to reverse Sandiganbayan resolutions denying him temporary freedom while on trial.


INQUIRER PHOTO NEWS JANUARY 24, 2013 COMPOSITE PHOTO OF REYES AND ENRILE --Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile confirmed on Thursday that his chief of staff, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, has tendered an “irrevocable” resignation.

The senator, along with his former chief of staff Gigi Reyes, was alleged to have received nearly P172 million in kickbacks in the PDAF scam, allegedly the brainchild of Napoles, also currently detained. They have denied wrongdoing.

Enrile and Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are the highest elected officials tagged in the scam, in which several members of the House of Representatives had also been implicated.


JINGGOY AND BONG

Revilla and Estrada remain detained and continue to fight for their temporary liberty.

In his petition for certiorari, Enrile’s lawyer said bail was a matter of right as the prosecution had failed “to show clearly and conclusively that Enrile, if ever he would be convicted, is punishable by reclusion perpetua.”

The senator’s camp also said Enrile was not a flight risk owing to his age and state of health.

Last week, the high court also granted Enrile’s plea for the Office of the Ombudsman to file a bill of particulars detailing its charges against him.

He had petitioned the Supreme Court for such a document to promptly prepare his defense, saying allegations against him were vague.

Except for Del Castillo, the same Arroyo-appointed justices also granted Enrile’s petition.

Among the details that Enrile wanted to be clarified were:

Who among the accused—Enrile or Reyes—acquired the alleged ill-gotten wealth;
what acts were committed in a series, as to the alleged receipt of PDAF kickbacks from Napoles;
who delivered the alleged payoffs on what time, date and place;
and how did the senator allegedly take advantage of his position as an elected senator.
 
Sandigan to open

Without the court resolution at the end of office hours Tuesday, the Sandiganbayan said it would open Wednesday—a holiday in Quezon City—to give Enrile a chance to post bail in case the high tribunal transmitted a copy of its decision to the antigraft court.


Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang said she would be available to process Enrile’s bail paperwork.

Aside from the P1-million bail for plunder, Enrile also has to post a P450,000 bail in connection with the 15 counts of graft (bail was set at P30,000 per count) filed against him in connection with the pork barrel scam to regain his liberty.

Chief Supt. Victor Deona, director of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Enrile would be freed once his office receives a copy of his release order.

Although Enrile is staying at the PNP hospital, he is technically under CIDG custody.

Return awaited

Some senators are looking forward to hearing Enrile’s thoughts, on his return to the chamber, among others,

on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which Malacañang has been pushing to conclude a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),
and the 2016 national budget.
 
Interpellation on the proposed BBL is to begin next week.

Timetable for the approval of the draft Bangsamoro charter had been set back by the massacre of 44 police commandos on Jan. 25 in the MILF-controlled Mamasapano cornfields in Maguindanao province.



“With our agenda full, hard labor awaits him here. With his experience, he can certainly enrich the discussions on the budget and the BBL,” said Sen. Ralph Recto.



Sen. Sonny Angara said he expects Enrile to hit the ground running.

“I’m sure, knowing him and from what my colleagues have said, he was still studying and reading a lot while in detention. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be back very soon here in the Senate and buckle down to work because he’s the type of person to do that,” Angara said.


Sen. Nancy Binay

Sen. Nancy Binay, also with the minority, said, “I look forward to working with him in the minority as our most senior member, particularly in scrutinizing the 2016 budget and fiscalizing the administration.”

Sen. Francis Escudero said the court’s move was a “seminal and precedent-setting decision on the right to bail given the unique theory” that he used.

“Many other accused can benefit from this decision,” Escudero added.

Cases flawed

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte welcomed the high court’s decision.


HOUSE SPEAKER BELMONTE

“That’s good. He’s a real asset,” he told reporters. “I’m not aware of [how the court ruled], but I’d like to admit I myself visited him three times, while he was in hospital at Camp Crame, and spent at least two hours each time and discussed issues with him,” Belmonte said.


House prosecutor Giorgidi Aggabao INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao said that the grant of bail to Enrile and the approval of his petition for a bill of particulars meant the cases against him were “flawed.”

“I would think bail is perfectly reasonable in the circumstance,” said Aggabao, the president of the Nationalist People’s Coalition. “After all, bail is a matter of right and may only be denied to an accused on very exceptional grounds.”


Congressman Sherwin Tugna

Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna said: “I believe that the Supreme Court placed a premium on the constitutional right of each and every person to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The right to bail (the right to be free and out of jail) always goes hand in hand with the constitutional presumption of innocence of an accused, until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a fair and full trial.”
–Leila B. Salaverria and Tarra Quismundo with DJ Yap, Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Julie M. Aurelio

------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Enrile raring to tackle BBL, sea dispute By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 20, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is excited to go back to work and participate in current deliberations on important national issues like the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the West Philippine Sea, according to his lawyer.


JPE Defense counsel ELEAZAR B. REYES ebreyes@pecabar.ph COURTESY OF THE PECABAR WEBSITE

Enrile’s defense counsel Eleazar Reyes said the 91-year-old lawmaker is already preparing to report for work in the Senate.

“He’s in good health. Of course he will have to take his maintenance medicine and treatment,” Reyes said.

However, Enrile was not allowed to post bail as of end of office hours yesterday since the Supreme Court is yet to serve an official copy of its ruling to the Sandiganbayan.

A skeletal force of the Sandiganbayan reported for work yesterday even if it was a Quezon City holiday to facilitate Enrile’s possible posting of bail.

Officials explained they have to receive the official copy of the Supreme Court decision to allow Enrile to post bail.


HOSPITAL DETENTION: INQUIRER VIDEO NEWS SCREENGRAB DATED JULY 31, 2015 
Enrile appeared on Friday for his scheduled pre-trial with co-accused chief of staff Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes. Asked about his health, Enrile said: “I’m okay. I’m doing a lot of reading, studying geography, capital generation, power competition, currency development.”

Enrile, on the other hand, has requested for the medical bills he incurred during his stay at the Philippine National Police General Hospital (PNPGH), where he is under hospital arrest.

The camp of Enrile reportedly asked the PNPGH administration for a bill of the medical expenses, which he should settle before he leaves the hospital premises.

SPO4 Jovito Tapayan, finance officer of the PNP-Health Service, said the medical expenses reached a total of P76,000 for 150 days. Tapayan, however, did not explain the basis of the 150 days confinement.

Tapayan said the amount was reduced to P61,000 after deducting Enrile’s privileges as a senior citizen. He added the amount could still be deducted from Enrile’s PhilHealth benefits.

The police personnel detailed as security for Enrile were also ordered to pull out once the senator posts bail.


JPE's LAWYER: JOSEPH B. SAGANDOY, JR. jbsagandoy@pecabar.ph of PONCE ENRILE REYES & MANALASTAS LAW OFFICES FROM THE PECABAR WEBSITE

Joseph Sagandoy, Enrile’s lawyer, said the senator is excited and ready to go home.

Although the release has been held in abeyance, Sagandoy said Enrile does not mind the delay and is still eager to go home.

Enrile was arrested in July last year for plunder and graft in relation to his alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam allegedly masterminded by trader Janet Lim-Napoles.

The Sandiganbayan denied his motion to fix bail, prompting him to elevate the issue to the Supreme Court.

Enrile filed his petition on Sept. 4, 2014, citing his advanced age and voluntary surrender to the Sandiganbayan.

On Tuesday, the high court granted Enrile’s petition and set bail at P1 million.

Enrile will have to post bail in the amount of P1 million for the plunder charge and P450,000 for the 15 counts of graft filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Reyes said Enrile will have to come up with cash since applying for surety will take time and will delay his release from the PNPGH, where the senator has been under hospital arrest since last year.

Reyes said the grant of bail is a positive development since considering how the high tribunal apparently agreed with Enrile that he is not a flight risk in view of his age and position in government.

“The probability of his flight is zero. Basically even the Constitution says that he ought not to be given bail if the evidence of guilt is strong because of the risk of flight. But if you can show that there is no flight risk under the circumstances that negates that rational of the Constitution,” Reyes said.


JACK ENRILE

Former Cagayan representative Jack Enrile thanked the Supreme Court for allowing his father to post bail.

“On behalf of my mother Christina and the rest of my family, I wish to thank the Supreme Court justices for their kindness and compassion in allowing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail,” the younger Enrile said in a statement.

Vice President Jejomar Binay welcomed the impending release of Enrile, saying he was not surprised by the SC decision to allow the 91-year old legislator temporary liberty and granting his motion for a bill of particulars.

Lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. welcomed the expected return of Enrile to the Senate.

“It’s good that he’s (Enrile) going to be released – he’s a real asset,” Belmonte said.

“I am glad he’s given the opportunity and the ability to regain his freedom.”

Belmonte said he had visited Enrile thrice while in detention in Camp Crame.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez hailed the SC in its decision to allow Enrile the chance to continue his legislative duties in the Senate.

“The ruling champions humane treatment which he deserves,” he said.

Parañaque City Rep. Gustavo Tambunting, of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said the SC decision would indicate that evidence against Enrile was not strong.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano III said Enrile deserves to be freed while the trial is going on because of his advanced age. – With Paolo Romero, Helen Flores, Cecille Suerte Felipe


INQUIRER

Enrile out on bail, says his faith in justness of Judiciary vindicated @inquirerdotnet 07:27 PM August 20th, 2015


Senator Juan Ponce Enrile wears a smile at the Sandiganbayan where he posted bail for his provisional release. PHOTO/Marc Cayabyab

AFTER one year in hospital detention, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is now a free man – for now.

Leaving his detention place in the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital at 5:55 p.m., the 91-year-old senator arrived at the Sandiganbayan at 6:30 p.m. to appear for the application of his P1.45 million bail as he faces trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam.

“Today I’ve been released out of custody. I would like to state for the record that my faith in the probity and justness of our Judiciary has been vindicated,” Enrile said in a brief interview.

“I would go back to my work and have no interest except the interest of our country,” he added.

Clerk of Court Third Division Atty. Dennis Pulma signed the release order served on the accused party. Meanwhile, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang approved the bail application.

Pulma said Enrile’s bail is only for his provisional release as he still faces trial for plunder for his alleged involvement in the scheme of spending his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.

Enrile’s lawyers paid the P1.45 million bail in 14 bundles of P100,000 cash, each counted with the aid of a machine at the Sandiganbayan cashier.

The bail was paid after the Sandiganbayan issued the produce order instructing the police to bring Enrile to court for the processing of his bail application for plunder case filed against him, ordinarily a non-bailable offense.

Enrile posted bail after the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday in a vote of 8-4 granted his motion to reverse the Sandiganbayan Third Division’s ruling, which denied his bail plea.

The decision came exactly a week after the SC sided with Enrile’s request for bill of particulars in the plunder case stemming from his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

The Supreme Court set the bail amount at P1 million. On top of the P30,000 bail for each of his 15 graft charges, Enrile paid a total amount of P1.45 million.

Enrile went to the Supreme Court after the Sandiganbayan Third Division last year denied his motion that he be allowed to post bail.

In his 70-page petition for certiorari filed Sept. 4, 2014, Enrile said he should be allowed to post bail since the prosecution failed to present strong evidence against him and that the charges “cannot be considered a capital offense.”

READ MORE...

At the same time, Enrile said he is not a “flight risk considering that he even voluntarily surrendered to the authorities when the warrant for his arrest was issued by the anti-graft court.

He also cited his advanced age as another reason for the SC to grant his petition.

Enrile is under hospital detention while his chief of staff Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes is detained at the female dormitory of Camp Bagong Diwa as they face plunder and 15 counts of graft for their alleged involvement in the purported scheme of pilfering the senator’s Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.


NAPOLES AND THE WHISTLEBLOWER

According to the financial records of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy, Enrile received P172.8 million in kickbacks from Napoles, who referred to Enrile as “Tanda” in the use of codenames for the alleged scam.

The witnesses had also testified that they personally saw Napoles hand over Enrile’s kickbacks to his alleged agent Ruby Tuason.

State witness Tuason, a socialite and social secretary of former President Joseph Estrada, has said she delivered kickbacks for Enrile from Napoles through Enrile’s chief of staff Reyes over lunch meetings in posh restaurants.
Tuason said Enrile sometimes fetched Reyes and invited them for coffee after these supposed lunch meetings.
Accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles is serving life sentence for the serious illegal detention of her former entrusted financial officer Benhur Luy, who turned against her when he was detained by the businesswoman over suspicions he was starting his own scam.
Marc Jayson Cayabyab/RC/AC

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Drilon: JPE to return as Senate minority leader By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 19, 2015 - 12:47pm 2 132 googleplus1 0


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will again serve as the Senate Minority Leader upon his return to the Senate. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday confirmed that Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will report at the Senate on Monday and will come back as a Senate minority leader.

Drilon said Enrile will return to his post as Senate minority leader replacing Sen. Tito Sotto, the acting minority leader while Enrile was detained.

“Dahil si Senator Sotto ay "acting" Minority Leader lamang, kaya pagbalik ni Senator Enrile babalik po siya sa kanyang posisyon bilang minority leader,” Drilon said in an interview with Bombo Radyo.

“Ang sabi po ng aming minority leader ay sa Lunes daw ay mag-rereport na si Enrile sa session hall, dahilan po sa binigyan siya ng bail ng Korte Suprema at ngayong araw - sa pagkalam ko - ay hihintayin sa Sandiganbayan to actually post the bail,” he added.

Drilon said that Enrile’s return is helpful as his experiences will aid and guide them in scrutinizing significant laws. He said Enrile will be helpful in discussing the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“Malawak na po ang karanasan ni Senator Enrile, at titingnan niya po iyan nang husto,sa palagay ko at sasali siya sa debate to come up with a better legislation,” Drilon said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court allowed Enrile to post bail for P1 million subject to the terms and conditions to be specified by the court in its order.

Enrile has been detained and is currently under “hospital arrest” at the Philippine National Police General Hospital at Camp Crame, Quezon City. He faces charges of graft and plunder related to the P10-billion pork barrel scam.


ABS-CBN

Sandigan to open office on holiday to process Enrile's bail By Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News Posted at 08/18/2015 6:46 PM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan Third Division has yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court's (SC) decision on the petition for bail of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

According to Sandiganbayan Third Division spokesman Atty. Dennis Pulma, since offices at the anti-graft court close at 5 p.m., they may instead receive the copy on Wednesday even if it is a local holiday in Quezon City.

August 19, which marks Quezon City Day, is a non-working holiday.

Pulma said court personnel will be assigned in the cashier's office and docket section to process Enrile's bail.

As soon as they receive their copy of the high court's decision, they will order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to bring Enrile to the Sandiganbayan for him to personally post bail.

The high court, voting 8-4, allowed Enrile to post bail at P1 million in connection with his plunder trial stemming from his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Enrile had argued that he is not a flight risk and that the evidence against him is weak. The senator also cited in his petition his advanced age and voluntary surrender.


TRIBUNE

Noynoy orders JPE bail review Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 23 August 2015 00:00



PALACE SAYS AQUINO WANTS TO BE GUIDED ON NEW SC RULING

Risking a new confrontation with the judiciary, President Aquino ordered state lawyers to review the latest Supreme Court (SC) ruling that allowed Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile to post bail citing his frail health early this week.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said on radio that the review will only guide Aquino on “the parameters of granting the bail and steps after,” as she claimed that such clarification will help the executive implement the decision across the board.

“The President wanted to be clarified really on what it means because bail based on humanitarian grounds is something new… The President’s reflex every time a Supreme Court decision comes out is to study the text,” she said.

“Certainly, it needs to be clarified since it is a new doctrine, the parameters of granting bail on humanitarian grounds must also be clarified. It is something that’s needed to be done to guide the executive in the future when it comes to implementing (the decision),” Valte added.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who recommended the detention of Enrile along with the other two Palace targets Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla for plunder in relation to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, said the SC’s ruling made the Philippines a “banana republic.”

“I can understand that Secretary De Lima has strong feelings for this given that she herself has seen the investigation since the DoJ conducted the investigation,” Valte said.

“We really can’t say for now (if it follows the straight path). There are other legal remedies available to government. Let us see if the finality issue will be settled on the new doctrine of bail on humanitarian consideration,” she added.

Several experts said that the SC’s granting of Enrile to post bail is a precedent for other political trophies of Aquino such as former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since she also filed a similar petition citing her poor health condition.

READ MORE...

Estrada’s and Revilla’s camps may also find the ruling favorable to their case, according to observers, as they both welcomed the decision.

“That is considered a correct assumption as well because it is a doctrine. When the Supreme Court says that the doctrine in one case is that the accused is sick, old and for humanitarian reasons be granted bail, my understanding is that it should apply to all unless the SC limits it,” Valte said.

Enrile was released from Camp Crame on Thursday after being granted provisional freedom by the SC.

Right description, wrong premise


Composite photos of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Senate Juan Ponce Enrile --- For bending court rules and even bail provisions under the Constitution, the Supreme Court decision to release Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile while on trial for the no-bail offense of plunder has set the state of the Philippine justice system back to that of a “banana republic,”. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Friday. [The Macmillan English Dictionary defines “banana republic” as an insulting term for a tropical country with a weak economy, a dishonest or cruel government and public services that do not work.] De Lima said the majority decision “gives the impression that the court is capable of being partial to the so-called elite, and that its decisions can be grounded not on what the law is, but on who the party is.”  Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te declined to comment on De Lima’s statement. FROM THE INQUIRER NEWS HEADLINE AUGUST 22, 2015

The camp of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay lashed at De Lima for saying the country has become a banana republic after the SC ruling that allowed Enrile to post bail.



“Justice Secretary De Lima’s description of the country as a ‘banana republic’ is correct but the premise is all wrong,” Rico Paolo Quicho, vice presidential spokesperson for political concerns, said.

“We are a banana republic not because of the Supreme Court,” he added.

On the contrary, Quicho said the Supreme Court decision has given a new leash of hope for those who have been victims of the administration’s selective pursuit of justice.

“The SC affirmed the Vice President’s belief in the fairness and impartiality of our courts. The Vice President is confident that he will also find in the justice system the fairness and impartiality that has been absent from the on-going Senate inquisition,” Quicho said.

“This is why he has filed a civil suit and is looking forward to putting his senator-inquisitors, ex-Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, Mr. Hechanova, Renato Bondal and now Mr. Arthur Cruto on the witness stand,” he said.

“The courts are blind to political agenda. It only respects evidence and this is what we will demand from the senators and their cohorts,” Quicho stressed.

If the country is to be considered to be a banana republic, Quicho said there is no one to blame but the administration itself, which de Lima is a part of.

“We are a banana republic because this administration’s economic policies have further enriched the elite, while the rest of the country wallows in poverty,” said Quicho.

“Public services are a joke. The administration cannot even make the MRT and LRT run on time, traffic is a daily horror story for commuters and motorists.

Government agencies like the DOJ enforce the laws selectively, unleashing the powers of the State to cripple political foes while protecting allies and partymates,” Quicho said.

“We are a banana republic because of the ‘manhid at palpak’ (insensitive and incompetent) governance that De Lima seeks to protect with a ferocity that brooks no opposition even from a co-equal branch like the judiciary,” he averred.

Quicho said that as the DOJ secretary has chosen to take on the highest court of the land, it sends “a signal that the gloves are again off, a repeat of the staredown between the administration and the SC over the DAP ruling.”

“We will not be surprised if, true to form, this vengeful administration takes retaliatory action against the SC to pursue its agenda of taking full control over all the branches of government,” said Quicho.


JV BAUTISTA

Lawyer JV Bautista, secretary general of the United National Alliance (UNA), readily agreed with Quicho in saying de Lima was correct in saying the country has become a banana republic.

And like Quicho, Bautista it was because of the administration’s gross incompetence the country is threading that diection.

“Secretary de Lima’s characterization of our country as becoming a ‘banana republic’ is correct, but it is not because of the SC ruling on granting liberty to JPE (Juan Ponce Enrile); it is because of the dismal performance in governance of this administration, including de Lima’s policy of selective justice and consistent defiance of the SC,” Bautista told the Tribune through a text message.

“MRT, Mamasapano, Yolanda rehab, DAP, selective justice: these are what make our one-and-only country a ‘banana republic,’ Bautista said.

Bautista said de Lima is obviously sour-graping at the SC because the rulings on JPE’s petitions exposed the incompetence of de Lima and the weakness of the cases she brought against Enrile.

“Remember that the SC granted JPE’s motion for a bill of particulars, which means that the information filed against JPE were vague and not meritorious,” Bautista said.

“Does de Lima want JPE to suffer years of deprivation of liberty when they did not even prepare worthy information against him?” he added.


DE LIMA AND NOY AUGUST 2013 DURING THE 'NAPOLES' SCAM HEADLINES


“De Lima once again courts contempt of the SC by lambasting its decision, which is doctrinal and forms jurisprudence, hence, part of the laws. She and PNoy admin are the causes of our becoming a ‘banana republic’, not the SC,” the UNA secretary general averred.

“UNA welcomes the liberty won by JPE as the right thing for our SC to do. It shows that the SC can defend us from this administration’s selective justice. With JPE back in the Senate and the public discourse, the strength of the opposition has been enhanced. Democracy is, hence, better served,” he said.
By Joshua L. Labonera and Charlie V. Manalo

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

PALACE: Bail grant to Enrile will not deter gov't from pursuing officials accused of corruption By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News Posted at 08/18/2015 5:25 PM


COLOMA

MANILA - Malacañang said the bail granted to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will not deter the government from pursuing cases against officials accused of corruption.

In a statement Tuesday, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said they note the Supreme Court's (SC) resolution granting the bail petition of Enrile.

He stressed that the government's commitment to fight corruption is not dependent on the outcome of any case.

"Government is determined to pursue its anti-corruption campaign in a sustained manner. This steadfast commitment is not dependent on the outcome of any particular case," Coloma said.

"We shall leave it up to the Office of the Ombudsman as an independent and separate body of the government, to undertake the necessary action with regards to the High Court's decision," the secretary added.

Voting 8-4, the SC allowed Enrile, who is under hospital arrest for plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, to post bail at P1 million.

In his bail petition, Enrile argued that he is not a flight risk and that the evidence linking him to the pork barrel scam is weak. He also cited his advanced age and his voluntary surrender.


MANILA TIMES

Grand old man returns to Senate August 23, 2015 10:34 pm
by JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA REPORTER

MORE than a year after he was detained for plunder and graft for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will be back at the Senate today, Monday.

The senator gained temporary freedom last week after the Supreme Court (SC), through an 8-4 vote, allowed him to post bail.

Enrile’s daughter, Katrina Ponce Enrile, said her father wants to attend sessions and perform his duty as a lawmaker as much as he can because that is his job.

“As a senator he needs to earn his keep. It is not proper for him to receive his salary and yet not reporting for work. That is why if he is given a chance to work, he will take it,” she said in a radio interview.

Katrina dismissed views that Enrile, 91, will be contradicting the basis for his bail grant if he decides go back to work.


KATRINA PONCE ENRILE

The senator, in his petition for bail, cited as mitigating circumstances his advanced age and voluntary surrender.

“It’s a fact na matanda na ang tatay ko, marami na siyang karamdaman pero buhay pa siya at pwede pa siyang maglakad. Kung pwede siyang pumasok ay papasok siya pero kung hindi naman nya talaga kaya then that’s the time na talagang hindi siya papasok [My father is old and he already has a lot of ailments but he is still alive and he can still walk. If he can go to work, he will work, as long as he can],” Katrina explained.

She said her father was already suffering from a slew of diseases before he surrendered to the police in July last year. Enrile, the minority leader, was detained in Camp Crame in Quezon City. The Sandiganbayan eventually allowed him to be placed under hospital arrest.

Katrina said her father was suffering from high blood pressure when he presided over the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

READ MORE...

“My father reports to work even if he has high blood pressure, kidney problems, diabetes and macular degeneration because of his age,” she added.

Some senators lauded the High Court’s decision to allow Enrile to post bail. Even Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a known critic of the veteran senator, said the granting of Enrile’s bail petition clearly shows the independence of the SC.

“It is not in the best interest of this administration to have Enrile out, so it shows the independence of SC and I respect it,” Trillanes noted.

A number of Enrile’s colleagues are looking forward to working with the former Senate president. Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd, who temporarily assumed the post of minority leader, said he was happy that Enrile had gained temporary freedom.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto also said he can’t wait to work with Enrile again.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees Enrile’s participation in the deliberation of the measure that will create a Bangsamoro region important considering his experience and knowledge.

Marcos said Enrile can enrich the discussions on the proposed Bangsamoro law.

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RELATED

Enrile visits Bong and Jinggoy for lunch August 21, 2015 7:42 pm


This last year photo shows Senator Bong Revilla, former President Joseph Estrada, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Jinggoy Estrada enjoy Senator Estrada's birthday celebration, notwithstanding the plunder complaint against the 3 senators.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who celebrated his 90th birthday that Friday, made a wish for Estrada that stunned the younger senator and his guests. “I hope he will handle all the challenges before him and he will become a president of the country,” Enrile said. “That is the dream of all politicians. That is my wish for him [Jinggoy]. Anyway, it’s just a birthday wish.”  Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

SENATOR Juan Ponce Enrile, who was freed on Thursday after posting P1.45 million bail for plunder, dropped by the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame on Friday to visit his two colleagues detained for plunder charges.

Enrile visited Senators Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada –his two co-accused in the plunder and graft charges in connection with the multi-billion pork barrel fund-scam.

The senator arrived at the PNP custodial Compound around 12:10 pm on board a white Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) to have lunch with the two younger senators.

Enrile, who is also facing similar charges for his alleged involvement in the prok-barrel scam, reportedly masterminded by businesswoman, Janet Lim-Napoles was released from his hospital arrest on Thursday evening.

The senator was allowed to post bail by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday. The 90-year-old senator was eventually detained at the PNP General Hospital because of his advanced age and health conditions.

Estrada and Revilla’s respective petitions for bail still remain pending before the Sandiganbayan. Anthony Vargas FROM MANILA TIMES AUGUST 21, 2015


INQUIRER

Enrile family thanks Supreme Court @inquirerdotnet
11:05 AM August 19th, 2015


Jack Enrile. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s family thanked the Supreme Court Justices on Wednesday “for their kindness and compassion” in allowing the 91-year-old senator to post bail.

“On behalf of my mother Cristina, and the rest of my family, I wish to thank the Supreme Court Justices for their kindness and compassion in allowing Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail,” Enrile’s son and namesake, former Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr. said in a statement.

“We greatly appreciate this opportunity to have our father back in our home and in our care. It is our intention to help him through the defense of his honor and decades of serving his most beloved nation,” he said.

SC will treat his case ‘positively,’ says daughter Katrina The former congressman said the high tribunal has once again “demonstrated its wisdom and abiding commitment to justice at a time when our country is rife with political maneuverings.”

“To the Justices of the Supreme Court, taos-puso po kaming nagpapa-salamat (we thank you from the bottom of our hearts),” Enrile’s son added. The statement was issued a day after the SC granted Enrile’s petition for bail.

Enrile has been under hospital arrest at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame in Quezon City on plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam.

Two other senators — Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. have also been charged and detained at the PNP Custodial Center over the same issue. Maila Ager/IDL


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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