MANILA — The Senate implemented on Monday the 90-day preventive suspension slapped against Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile by the Sandiganbayan in connection with the pork barrel scam.
”Today, I will implement the order of the Sandiganbayan on the suspension of Senator Enrile,” Senate President Franklin Drilon said before accepting the famous ice bucket challenge at the terrace of his Senate office on Monday.
Drilon said the Senate has no recourse but to implement the suspension order after the anti-graft court turned down a motion for reconsideration filed by Enrile.
”The suspension will be effective today, and the suspension will be automatically lifted after 90 days. This is the order of the Sandiganbayan and we have no recourse but to implement it, consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in the case involving a member of the legislature,” Drilon explained to the media.
Enrile is one of the three senators charged with plunder for allegedly accepting kickbacks he released to the bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) formed by Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10 billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam.
Other senators include another minority senator Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. who like Enrile, have been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Drilon said the Senate will also soon implement similar suspension order against Estrada whose motion for reconsideration has also been junked by the Sandiganbayan.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to decide with finality on the 90-day suspension order against Revilla.
”Again, I have no recourse, but the moment I receive this order, we will also implement it and we will report to the Sandiganbayan because we are required to report within five days from receipt of the order,” Drilon said on Estrada’s suspension order.
Drilon further explained that the suspension “is immediately executory, unless restrained by the Supreme Court.”
Throughout the three-month suspension, Drilon said Enrile will not receive salary or any compensation from the Senate.
He, however, assured that the staff and employees of Enrile will not be affected by the suspension.
Drilon said the 90-year-old Enrile will also be prohibited from filing bills and sign committee reports while under suspension.