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Malacañang respects anti-graft court’s acquittal of Revilla in plunder case

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 02:57 PM

 

FILE PHOTO: Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — The court has spoken, and as its co-equal branch in government, Malacañang abides by the decision of Sandiganbayan anti-graft court to acquit former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of plunder charges, and convict his former staff, Richard Cambe and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in relation to the pork barrel scam.

This was the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on the recent ruling of Sandiganbayan on the plunder case of Revilla, Napoles and Cambe in connection with the alleged misuse of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Panelo added that the judiciary performed its constitutional duty of delivering justice.

“While justice grinds so slow most of the time, it does grind, and when it stops it renders a verdict that is exacting immutable,” he said.

Panelo assured that the Executive Branch will continue to respect the independence of the judiciary and will “implement the final orders of the anti-graft court on the matter.”

He added that either camp may still file an appeal and “pursue remedies available under our procedural laws.”

“In any event, this administration takes stock of the lessons learned from cases involving unconstitutional discretionary funds and has implemented measures to ensure the integrity of the national budget and its proper utilization for our people,” Panelo said. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Bong Revilla won’t return P124-M to the government – Lawyer

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 4 January 2019 11:56 AM

FILE PHOTO: Former Senator Bong Revilla Jr.

CAVITE, Philippines – In December 2017, the Sandiganbayan acquitted former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of plunder over his involvement in the multi-billion pork barrel scam.

Likewise, the anti-graft court ordered the former senator to return P124.5 million of civil liabilities to the National Treasury.

According to Revilla’s legal counsel, Atty. Reody Anthony Balisi, the dispositive portion of the Sandiganbayan’s decision was clear that only those found guilty were required to return the amount — in Revilla’s case, it should be Janet Lim Napoles and Revilla’s former aide Richard Cambe.

“All those who are criminally liable are civilly liable. So with these qualification in the dispositive portion of the decision of the Sandiganbayan, you apply the Article 100, base on the discussion above is Senator Bong criminally liable? He is not,” Balisi explained.

“Therefore, if you apply Article 100 then he cannot be said to have a civil liability since he is not criminally liable. There is no basis for any civil liability. There is no basis for him to return to the national treasury solidarily liable or jointly liable the amount of P124.5 million,” he added.

Revilla’s wife, Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado, supports this argument and maintained that her husband has no obligation to return the said amount.

“Siya naman po ay acquitted so I don’t think that particular item has applied on him. According to our legal team hindi po ganoon,” Mercado said.

The former senator, meanwhile, maintained that he did not steal anything from the people’s money and that everything he has as a citizen he earned from years of being an actor prior to his entry to national politics.

“Lahat po ng mayroon ako ay bunga ng aking dugo at pawis sa pag aartista. Simula pa lang noong ako ay sampung taong gulang. Sa mga panahong karamihan ay natutulog pa, ako po ay kumakayod na para kumita at iyan nga ang napatunayan ng hukuman na wala akong ninakaw ni sentimo mula sa taumbayan,” he said.

Despite the controversies hounding her husband, Mercado said she appreciates that Revilla remains among the top 10 senatorial candidates in current surveys.

Based on the latest survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS), Revilla ranked seventh.

“Ako po ay lubusang nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng sumusuporta’t tumatangkilik sa kaniya bagamat maraming naganap noong nakaraan, ang tiwala ng tao at pagmamahal ay sa kanya pa rin,” she said.

Since the former senator’s acquittal, the Revilla family has been enjoying a normal life, according to Mercado. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Benedict Samson)

 

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Janet Napoles to appeal Sandiganbayan’s ‘guilty’ verdict on plunder case

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 06:14 PM

FILE PHOTO: Janet Lim-Napoles

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Janet Lim-Napoles is determined to appeal the anti-graft court’s ‘guilty’ verdict on Napoles’ plunder charges in line with the pork barrel scam.

According to Atty. Stephen David, they doubt the court’s decision convicting his client.

“Marami kaming nakikitang butas doon sa desisyon kung bakit na-convict ang kliyente ko,“ David said.

On Friday, (December 7) the Sandiganbayan sentenced Napoles and her co-accused Richard Cambe, to a lifetime in jail after being named as the mastermind in the pork barrel scam.

The anti-graft court, however, announced its first acquittal to former Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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Jinggoy Estrada expresses high hopes of acquittal for plunder after Bong Revilla

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 04:36 PM

 

FILE PHOTO: Former senator Jinggoy Estrada

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Former senator Jinggoy Estrada couldn’t be happier for his friend former senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr.

On Friday (December 7), the Sandiganbayan acquitted Revilla of plunder charges in line with the multi-billion Priority Development Assessment Fund (PDAF) or ‘pork barrel’ scam in which Estrada was a co-accused.

Estrada said he was speechless as he personally heard the decision during the promulgation of the case.

Now that his good friend is a free man, he only has one advise for Revilla.

“Walang nararapat na salita para i-express iyong nararamdaman ko ngayon. Spend more time with his family dahil apat na taon din siya nakulong and we’ll hit the campaign trail soon,” he said.

Estrada is on temporary liberty after posting P1.33-M bail in September 2017. The anti-graft court said that though they found irregularities in the disbursement of Estrada’s PDAF, there is no strong evidence to show that he is a main plunderer.

Along with Estrada, another co-accused former senator Juan Ponce Enrile was granted bail due to old age. Enrile was then 92-years-old.

Despite Revilla’s victory in the case, legal expert and dean of San Beda College of Law, Atty. Ranhilio Aquino, explained that though the three senators – Revilla, Estrada, and Enrile – were all accused in the same plunder case, the anti-graft court’s decision may still vary.

“Cases are decided on their own merits so I’m sure that the courts will decide on the merits of each case. The issue of one does not necessarily affect the other cases,” Aquino clarified.

Also in some cases, Aquino noted, that despite the acquittal, the court still demands the suspect to pay for his civil liability such in the case of Revilla wherein the court requires them to return a total of P124-M to the national treasury.

“Criminally you need proof beyond reasonable doubt. Civilly, you only need preponderance of evidence so mas mababa ang standard of proof for civil cases,” he explained further.

Still, Estrada said he has high hopes that his case will yield the same results as that of Revilla.

For now, he leaves it to the court to decide.– Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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