Sandiganbayan to rule on PDAF case vs. ex-Sen. Revilla on December 7
admin • November 8, 2018 • 2857
FILE PHOTO: Former Senator Bong Revilla Jr.
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan First Division is set to rule on the plunder case related to the pork barrel scam against former Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. on December 7.
The promulgation of the decision comes four years after the case was filed against Revilla.
The former lawmaker has been facing plunder and graft charges since 2014 for allegedly conspiring with Janet Lim Napoles in funneling millions of pesos in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to her fake non-governmental organizations in exchange for kickbacks.
His cases were filed along with those against former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile who are both out on bail.
Other corruption cases against former and current lawmakers relating to the alleged scam are pending at the anti-graft court.
The decision on Revilla’s plunder case will be the first to come out among pork barrel scam cases. — UNTV News & Rescue
Although Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri has announced he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being asymptomatic, some senators have opted not to undergo a COVID-19 test.
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan have decided not to go through COVID-19 testing, saying they are not manifesting any symptoms and are strictly following protocols given by the DOH.
Some of their co-lawmakers have already taken the test including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Pia Cayetano, Ramon Revilla Jr., Francis Tolentino and the first two senators who initiated to undergo self-quarantine, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay.
Senator Christoper Bong Go has also undergone COVID-19 testing with President Rodrigo Duterte who came out negative. — by Harlene Delgado
The reinstatement of the death penalty may have a glimmer of hope to be passed in the Senate with a seeming majority vote.
Thirteen senators have, so far, manifested to vote for it which include Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Bong Go, Ronald Dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Aquilino Pimentel III, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano and Manny Pacquiao.
“Basta death penalty, kahit anong paraan, lethal injection , kahit ano, basta death penalty [As long as it’s death penalty, however way it is done. Lethal injection, whatever, as long as it’s death penalty],” said Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Thirteen is enough a number to have the bill passed in the higher chamber of Congress.
However, this could still narrow down as the versions they are pursuing vary, with most of them wanting to limit the imposition of the death penalty to high-level drug trafficking only.
This is in contrary to what President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing which is also to include plunder.
The senators are also divided as to how the said capital punishment must be carried out.
On the other hand, ten senators comprised of Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Leila De Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Ralph Recto and Joel Villanueva have openly opposed the bill.
Senator Sonny Angara has yet to state his position as he prefers to hear the debates regarding the death penalty first. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
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.
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