To persons-of-interest in the pork barrel scam
Alas, Gigi Reyes has left the country.
News peg: Jessica Lucilla “Gigi” Gonzales-Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile who was linked to the P10-billion pork barrel scam, left the country two weeks ago. A witness in the pork barrel scam alleged that he delivered a duffel-bag-full of money to her house in La Vista and laid out the money on a table in her sala in front of her.
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The disadvantage of being out of the country once a complaint is filed against you is that you would not be able to file your counter-affidavit. A counter-affidavit has to be sworn to before the investigating fiscal or prosecutor. The affiants need to be present before the investigating fiscal or prosecutor when they file their counter-affidavits plus the rules technically or theoretically allow “clarificatory” questions to be propounded (i say theoretically because in real life, you just need to present yourself to the fiscal and swear to your counter-affidavit).
If the counter-affidavit is not sworn to in this manner, it would be considered as hearsay and would not be admitted. It would just be a piece of paper.
The disadvantage of not being able to file your counter-affidavit is that, under the rules, the facts alleged in the complaint against you would be deemed not controverted. Not controverted means not denied, not contested, not disputed, not belied…. Therefore, they would be admitted. Kahit na anu sabihin dun: admitted! kawawa ka naman.
Well, you can ask your lawyer to file sumthin’. Like another person alleging facts in your favour or… your lawyer raising jurisdictional issues. However, if you are accused of certain acts, you’ll need to deny them personally or else they would be deemed… the word is: Uncontroverted. Admitted.
The advantage, on the other hand, of being away when a complaint is filed against you is that, should a warrant of arrest be issued with your name on it, you would not be apprehended. You would not be detained. You would not be arraigned. Trial would not proceed as to you until you are arraigned.
The disadvantage of that is, you would be a fugitive.
Those are your options. Weigh your options carefully.
People who choose to be fugitives wait for a better day. They wait for a change in administration. In this country, changes in administration result in the counter-reversal of fortune of fugitives, senators, and maybe chiefs of staff.
And so it is. (this is not the Gigi Gonzales that I know, who was smart, articulate, progressive and kind, but that was a long time ago.)