Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…or betrayed.
Just so that Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile must be extra cautious now that he may not only be up against a plunder case, but also against a woman who served him for 25 years and now felt double-crossed.
Atty. Jessica ‘Gigi’ Reyes, the former chief-of-staff and close aide of Enrile finally broke her silence weeks after her name was implicated in the pork barrel scandal, and days after she was included in the corruption charges filed for investigation before the Ombudsman.
In a statement posted by Gigi Reyes on a Facebook page (which was confirmed to be authentic), she admitted leaving the country on August 31 ‘to seek some peace and quiet amid the barrage of adverse and downright insulting publicity and commentary against me in the mainstream and social media.’
Days before, Enrile’s lawyer, Atty. Enrique De La Cruz stated over a radio interview that the senator did not authorize his chief-of staff to sign endorsement letters to bogus NGOs of Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the PDAF scam.
“Senator Enrile’s instruction was clear… In the endorsement that he signed, he allocated his funds to local government units – province, towns and barangays (villages). If he had employees who didn’t follow this, or did something to divert the same funds to NGOs, it wasn’t in compliance with Senator Enrile’s instructions.”
Just recently, a letter of endorsement signed by Reyes, but bearing the official letterhead and seal of the senator surfaced on the internet. The said letter addressed to Mayor Joel Payumo of Dinalupihan, Bataan endorsed the release of 10 Million pesos from Enrile’s PDAF to said town to finance the implementation of various livelihood projects. In the same letter, People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation, Inc. (POPDFI), an NGO linked to Napoles, was designated as implementing partner.
Gigi Reyes reacted to this effort by the senator’s camp to disown her actions whilst serving as Enrile’s chief-of-staff.
‘True enough, THE WORST BLOW HAD JUST BEEN DEALT UPON ME BY NO LESS THAN THE CAMP OF SENATOR JUAN PONCE ENRILE – THE MAN I SERVED WITH FULL DEDICATION, HONESTY AND LOYALTY FOR 25 YEARS.’
She was obviously hurt by the attempt to wash the senator’s hands off any involvement in the controversy at her expense. What was even more painful than this is to renege on a promise to support her at any cost.
‘The last time I spoke to the Senator from abroad, he maintained that he will stand by the authority he issued to me and that all that I did was faithful and pursuant to his instructions. He even told me to be strong; that we will fight together to prove the accusations against us are false and fabricated.’
‘ IF INDEED THESE STATEMENTS ARE SANCTIONED BY OR COMING FROM MY FORMER BOSS, THEN NOTHING CAN BE WORSE THAN THIS KIND OF TRAVESTY AND BETRAYAL.’
In the same statement, she said that she had already engaged the services of a legal counsel to prepare for her defense. She reiterated that she had no intention of backing away from all accusations hurled against her and is ready to defend herself.
She concluded with,
‘There may be no saints among us and I do not profess to be one. Yet, as it has been in all human history, it is easy for sinners to cast stones. I have faith in God and my fate rests solely in His Hands and in His Divine Mercy.’
Atty. Gigi Reyes resigned as Enrile’s Chief-of-Staff last January after she got involved in a verbal tussle with Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano over the unfair distribution of MOOE as Christmas bonus distributed by the erstwhile Senate President. She had long since been out of the limelight until the recent pork barrel scam was exposed linking her to various transactions with Napoles’ NGOs involving Enrile’s office.
Whether the embattled senator had read her statement, he has yet to come with his own. But this ‘betrayal’ story of Enrile hardly comes as a surprise to anyone, and is not without precedent.
(To recall, in 1986, the then Defense Minister Enrile turned against his own Commander-in-Chief and President Ferdinand Marcos in order to avoid the impending arrest over subversion charges. His and Ramos’ defection proved to be the turning point of what we came to know now as the People Power Revolution.)