Lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes on Tuesday denied receiving any kickbacks from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Senator and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.
Reyes, Enrile’s former chief of staff, delivered testimony at her hearing at the Sandiganbayan as part of her defense in the P172 million plunder case she is facing over the alleged misuse of Enrile’s discretionary fund. Also accused in the case are Enrile, businesswoman Janet Napoles and several others.
“I did not receive any money, any amount from Ruby Tuason,” Reyes said during the direct examination of her legal counsel, Anacleto Diaz, who asked Reyes regarding the earlier testimony made by Tuason, a socialite turned state witness, who claims that she delivered kickbacks to Reyes.
Tuason said she served as the middleman in the PDAF transactions between Reyes, as Enrile’s representative, and alleged PDAF scam mastermind Napoles from 2007 to 2009.
At the witness stand, Reyes added that she had no authority to choose non-government organizations (NGO) as beneficiaries of Enrile’s pork barrel or PDAF, for the benefit of the lawmakers’ constituents.
“The masterlist is done by the Deputy Chief of Staff and the staff under him, they come up with a masterlist and submit it to me,” she said, referring to co-accused Jose Antonio Evangelista.
In addition, Reyes denied signing seven letters from Enrile’s Senate office endorsing Napoles-owned NGOs as beneficiaries.
“I did not sign these letters. I never had any PDAF and I never presented myself to be one of the senators,” she said.
Reyes also disputed the claims made by Tuason and another prosecution witness, Benhur Luy, that she complained of the kickback money being short P500,000.
“That is a complete fabrication. How can I complain when I did not receive anything?,” Reyes added.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division earlier denied Reyes’ motion to move for dismissal of the case. The trial is expected to go until next year. The plunder case against Enrile and his co accused was filed by state prosecutors in 2014.