MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Senate President told the Sandiganbayan on Thursday that it could not yet suspend Senator Juan Ponce Enrile over his pork barrel scam cases.
The letter, signed by Senate President Franklin Drilon’s chief of staff Atty. Renato Bantug Jr., said the body would still have to wait for the court’s decision on Enrile’s motion for reconsideration over his suspension.
“This Office hereby manifests that it would take appropriate action on the suspension order upon the Honorable Court’s disposition of the motion for reconsideration..” the letter reads.
But in a letter sent by Enrile’s chief of staff Cherbett Maralit sent to Drilon’s office, and attached to the letter sent to Sandiganbayan, Enrile’s camp said it would only file their motion for reconsideration on or before August 1, Friday.
The Senate said it could only suspend Enrile ”upon the lapse of the prescribed period to file the motion for reconsideration and no such motion is filed,” Drilon’s letter read.
The court gave Enrile 90 days upon receipt of the resolution to file his appeal.
The anti-graft court has ordered Enrile’s suspension for 90 days, concurring with government prosecutors’ claims that the veteran lawmaker can use his position to influence witnesses and tamper with evidence.