Sandiganbayan clears Revilla, 6 others of graft in pork barrel cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 5, 2021   •   464

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)

Revilla offers Lakas-CMD chairmanship to Sara Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Wednesday said he has offered the chairmanship post of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) to vice presidential aspirant, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

In a statement, Revilla said this is an expression of his full support for Duterte’s candidacy in next year’s elections.

“In full support of Mayor Sara Duterte’s candidacy for vice president, I am offering her my post as chairman of Lakas-CMD,” he said.

Revilla currently serves as the party’s chairperson.

“I have full trust and confidence in Mayor Sara Duterte’s leadership, I believe that she will steer the Party towards victory in 2022,” he added.

The camp of Duterte has yet to respond to Revilla’s offer, as of posting time.

The presidential daughter joined Lakas-CMD last November 11 after resigning from her regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

She later filed her certificate of candidacy for vice president through substitution.

On Tuesday, Sara confirmed she would be running in the next year’s polls in tandem with presidential aspirant, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

JBC extends application period for CA, CTA, Sandiganbayan vacancies

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council on Thursday announced it has extended the application period for several vacant positions in the Court of Appeals (CA), and other courts.

In an advisory, the JBC said it moved the deadline from August 25 to September 25 following requests for extension of the deadline of submission of documents owing to the difficulty in securing documents in view of the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite were placed under MECQ from August 4 to 18. It has now shifted to general community quarantine status.

The JBC said there are job openings in the CA, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) as well as in the Legal Education Board.

CA vacancies are for the positions left by Justices Rodil Zalameda, Edgardo Delos Santos, Mario Lopez, and Samuel Gaerlan who were appointed to the Supreme Court; Justices Luisa Padilla and Jane Aurora Lantion who compulsorily retired in January 2020.

The opening in Sandiganbayan is for the position left by the late Justice Reynaldo Cruz, while the CTA vacancies are for the positions formerly held by retired Justices Cielito Mindaro-Grulla and Esperanza Fabon-Victorino.

The JBC also said applications are also open for several positions in the Legal Education Board.

The council reminded applicants to access the online application scheduler in its website on or before August 25 to register and selected the date they will submit their documents.

Applicants must also submit the complete and accurate digitized versions of their documents through electronic mail on their selected date and time of appointment in the scheduler.

The submission of hard copies of documentary requirements, however, is suspended until further notice, the JBC said.

COVID-19 positive Sen. Revilla rushed to hospital, wife Lani says

Robie de Guzman   •   August 18, 2020

Senator Bong Revilla was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday a few days after testing positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to his wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla.

In a Facebook post, Mercado-Revilla said her husband has developed pneumonia based on his latest X-ray.

“He is being rushed to the hospital. His latest X-ray shows that he has developed pneumonia and isolation in a regular facility is no longer ideal. Hospital care badly needed,” she said.

“Father we lift him up to you,” she added.

The senator was earlier placed on isolation after he tested positive for the viral respiratory disease.

His wife and children, however, tested negative for the virus.

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