JESSICA Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, former chief-of-staff of former senator and now presidential legal counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, was released from detention on Thursday, January 19, 2023, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said.

The BJMP said Reyes was released from the Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory around 6:30 p.m. by virtue of petition for habeas corpus granted by the First Division of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

BJMP Spokesperson Jail Chief Inspector Jayrex Joseph Bustinera said among the conditions of Reyes’ release is that she will personally attend the hearing on other criminal charges filed against her before the Sandiganbayan and that she will submit a quarterly periodic report to the court about her whereabouts. She will secure travel authority from the Sandiganbayan.

The court said Reyes will also have to submit a quarterly report to the court regarding her compliance with all the conditions set.

In a decision issued on January 17, the SC agreed that Reyes’ confinement “has become oppressive, thus, infringing upon her right to liberty.”

In her petition, Reyes said the delays in the proceedings and the period of her detention is “longer than any other accused similarly charged with the offense of plunder.”

“While the writ is generally not available to a person whose liberty is under custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge, when such custody becomes vexatious, capricious, and oppressive amounting to an infringement on the constitutional right to speedy trial of an accused, the writ of habeas corpus may be provisionally availed of,” the ruling read.

The SC, however, said the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus will not influence the principal plunder case lodged against her.

Reyes and her former boss was implicated in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam where they allegedly funneled the funds to the dubious non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam.

Enrile allegedly received P172 million in kickbacks from public funds.

He was released over humanitarian reasons in 2015 despite facing non-bailable charges. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)