Trial for Sen. Revilla’s plunder case to start next week

UNTV News   •   June 16, 2017   •   5071

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_061517_REVILLA

MANILA — the prosecution and the Defense signed on Thursday the pre-trial order to formally start the trial on the plunder case of former senator Bong Revilla, Jr. on June 22.

Prior to the signing, the two sides argued on some details.

Revilla’s camp wanted to delete the list of the names of witnesses, which the prosecution opposed.

The court did not grant the request but stated that the defense has the privilege to remove witnesses if they wish to do so.

Revilla believes that the truth will come out and soon, he will be acquitted

“Come June 20 we will be 3 years since our detention. Our situation here is hard, but we are not losing hope and we believe the truth will come out,” Revilla said.

The former senator has also commented on the list of new names involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam that Janet Lim Napoles disclosed.

Revilla said, “If there are names that need to be exposed, let us expose it. The truth will come out and those who are not involved will be set free.”

Meanwhile, Revilla has asked the court to allow him to visit his father in the hospital who is scheduled to undergo medical procedure on Monday.

“He is in the hospital now and is scheduled to undergo a procedure on Monday. That is why I have to be there on Monday to give him support. We are asking for the public to pray for my father that his procedure will be successful,” said Revilla.

Revilla was accused of amassing a total of P224.5-million kickback in exchange for endorsing his PDAF to non-governmental organization (NGOs) owned and operated by Napoles. – Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

Sandiganbayan allows Estrada, Napoles to seek plunder case dismissal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 20, 2019

(L-R) Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles

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.

READ: Janet Napoles to serve a lifetime in jail over PDAF scam

Estrada denies his involvement with the ‘pork barrel scam’ and connection with Napoles. Meanwhile, Napoles is already convicted in a separate plunder case in December last year.—Aileen Cerrudo

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

Marje Pelayo   •   January 4, 2019

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)

 

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

Marje Pelayo   •   December 7, 2018

 

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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