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Sandiganbayan orders Gigi Reyes to post P450,000 bail

The Sandiganbayan has set bail for lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes at P450,000 in connection with the graft charges she is facing over the alleged misuse of her former boss Juan Ponce Enrile's pork barrel fund.

Sandiganbayan Third Division Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez said Reyes should pay the amount since the January 2023 Supreme Court decision ordering her release only covered the plunder case lodged against her, also in connection with the alleged misuse of the former Senate president’s discretionary funds. 

The High Court’s decision said Reyes’ nine-year detention on plunder charges violates her constitutional right to speedy trial and infringes on her right to liberty.

“I noticed that accused Jessica Lucila Reyes is yet to secure bail in the graft cases since she was previously detained for the plunder case. But since she was released by the SC Resolution on plunder, she should serve bail on the graft cases. The court will give you 15 days to do that,” Fernandez said.

”Accused Jessica Lucila Reyes has not yet secured bail [for the graft case], and this was confirmed by Attorney [Christian] Diaz. She should secure this bail bond for her provisional liberty,” Fernandez added.

Diaz, who serves as Reyes’ counsel, submitted to the court’s decision.

Based on Sandiganbayan records, Reyes is facing 15 counts of graft. The bail amount for each is P30,000.

Reyes was physically present at Thursday's trial, a requirement set by the Supreme Court in granting her petition for writ of habeas corpus which released her from detention.

Also on Thursday, the prosecution presented four farmers from Rosales, Pangasinan as witnesses in the plunder and graft raps against Enrile, Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, and others who were accused of amassing P172 million in public funds via Enrile’s pork barrel from 2004 to 2010.

The four farmers testified that they were not able to receive agricultural kits from the government even though their names appeared on a list by the Commission on Audit as recipients of the items. — BM, GMA Integrated News