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Ombudsman, Enrile clash over evidence in plunder case

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by Allan Yves Briones

Prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman and lawyers of former senate president Juan Ponce Enrile butted heads over pieces of evidence which will allegedly be involved in the pending plunder trial.

In a counter-manifestation filed by Enrile’s lawyers with the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division last August 23, he claimed that the prosecution’s compliance with the court order to produce material evidence has been “inadequate” and “impossible to implement.”

According to Enrile, a shared correspondence shows that the prosecution intends for him to find the material evidence “for himself” in the Office of the Clerk of Court, since it has already formally offered up the same during the bail hearings of the other accused in the case.

He argues that not only is he not aware of the evidence offered in the bail hearings of his other co-accused, he would also not be able to distinguish which evidence is material because the production merely “listed some exhibition numbers.”

The 3rd Division, in a resolution promulgated Monday, ruled that the subject matters of both sides’ manifestations were “clear and unambiguous” – that the prosecution is to merely “produce” and “permit” Enrile’s lawyers access to the material evidence, n

“We note, too, that the Motion for the Production of Material Evidence…had been filed at the instance of the accused himself through his counsel. Accordingly, they must bear whatever inconvenience (voluminous documents, etc.) that may arise out of the granting of the motion,” the court stated.

In order to avoid further delays, the anti-graft court has been set on October 16.

Associate Justice Ronald Moreno wrote the resolution, concurred by Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.

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