Sandiganbayan allows Estrada, Napoles to seek plunder case dismissal
Aileen Cerrudo • March 20, 2019 • 2411
The Sandiganbayan has allowed senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to file for the dismissal of the plunder charge against them.
The 5th division of the Sandiganbayan has given both parties 10 days to file their demurrer of evidence. The prosecution will also be given 10 days to respond.
The resolution states: “After a meticulous examination of the totality of evidence presented by the prosecution, both testimonial and documentary, the Court resolves to grant the present motion of the accused, to sufficiently provide him an opportunity to challenge the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence establishing material elements o the offense charged to support a judgment of guilt.”
Estrada and Napoles are facing plunder and graft charges following their involvement in the ‘pork barrel scam’. Estrada is accused of amassing P180 million kickback from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of bogus non-government organizations which is reportedly linked to Napoles.
MANILA, Philippines —Former senator Jinggoy Estrada has signified his intent in running for a Senate seat in the 2022 national elections.
In an interview on Wednesday (July 7), Estrada said he still has unfinished business in the Senate and was encouraged by the continuous support of the public after several surveys still include him in the winning circle.
However, the former senator said only one Estrada should run for office, pertaining to his brother former senator JV Ejercito.
“Mabuti na ‘yung iisa lang ang Estrada ang tumakbo kasi minsan nalilito ang ating mga botante kung sino sa aming dalawa. Siguro, it’s high time that we get to talk to each other,” Jinggoy said.
Ejercito, on the other hand, said in a tweet that it is the right of anyone to run for public office and the people will decide which candidate they will vote for.
On whether I will run for the Senate:
In my case, if I decide to run it’ll be because I believe I have a good track record, I never stole public funds and, more importantly, I want to ensure that Universal Health becomes a reality for every Filipino.
“Everyone has the right to run for public office. But it is the prerogative of the people to choose a candidate with integrity, honesty & track record,” Ejercito said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has cleared Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and six others of graft cases relating to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel scam.
Revilla was accused of diverting his PDAF funds to bogus non-government organizations which involved the so-called Pork Barrel Queen, Janet Lim Napoles.
Based on the ruling of the Sandiganbayan First Division that was released on Monday (July 5), the court granted Revilla’s demurrer to evidence acquitting the Senator of 16 counts of graft on grounds of insufficiency of evidence.
“The bonds posted by accused Revilla are hereby ordered released, subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. The Hold Departure Order issued against them are also set aside and declared functus officio,” the ruling stated.
Also dismissed from the case are Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nunez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Encarnita Christina Munsod, and Chita Jalandoni.
Meanwhile, the court did not grant Napoles on her demurrer to evidence, meaning the graft cases filed against her will continue to trial.
In a statement, Revilla said the dismissal is proof that the accusations filed against him have no basis.
“The Sandiganbayan, by granting our Demurrer to Evidence and dismissing all the charges against me, validates what we have known from the very beginning – that all the accusations against me have no basis and any leg to stand on,” he said.
“I am not, and never have been involved in graft and corruption. This is the reason why I did not run; I did not hide; and did not evade the judicial system. I put my trust and my life in our Courts. The truth has come out. Now, I can move forward to serving our nation and our people even further, free of this nuisance,” he added.
The Sandiganbayan also acquitted Revilla of plunder in relation to the pork barrel scam in December 2018. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
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