Lalaya na ba? | Sandiganbayan ends Bong Revilla's plunder trial for pork barrel scam - The Daily Sentry

Friday, August 10, 2018

Lalaya na ba? | Sandiganbayan ends Bong Revilla's plunder trial for pork barrel scam



Former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. Image credit to Rappler
The plunder trial of imprisoned former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr was wrapped up by the Sandiganbayan. Bong Revilla is the first lawmaker either cleared or sentenced over his alleged role in the Pork Barrel scam for over four years after his prosecution.

Former Senator Bong Revilla okays result of his plunder case. Image credit to Inquirer
The first indictment informed that the anti-graft court, the case against Revilla was latent, following the appearance of the whistle-blower Benhur Luy and Clarita Tanggol Ombudsman records division together with Maria Veronica Alvaran as the rebuttal witnesses.

Luy, Tanggol and Alvaran’s testaments are concentrated on negating the declaration of whistle-blower Marina Sula, who strayed from her first statement and said that, to connect Revilla, she was trained by state prosecutors.

Being recalled, Sula named Judge Joefferson Toribio former prosecutor and now Tarlac City Judge as the person who advised her to validate the testimony of Benhur. Mariter Delfin-Santos the Assistant Special Prosecutor said that Torribio would no longer be showed by the prosecution to the witness stand.

According to Santos, “Upon our consultation with Special Prosecutor (Edilberto) Sandoval and Ombudsman (Samuel) Martires, it was decided not to present him anymore because he cannot testify about the fact who signed the endorsement letters. Besides that, he already vehemently denied to us the statement by Marina Sula.”

Former Senator Bong Revilla okays result of his plunder case. Image credit to Inquirer
Former Senator Bong Revilla okays result of his plunder case. Image credit to Inquirer

Before the case officially ended, Luy was interrogated by lead defense counsel Estelito Mendoza on whether he saw Revilla sign any support letter that permits the sham establishments of scheme mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to guarantee their offers of Revilla's Priority Development Assistance Funds, or pork barrel.

Luy said that he never did, Meanwhile, Santos said that this did not mean that the former lawmaker was innocent. The Special Allotment and Release Orders (SARO) of Revilla couldn't be prepared if it did not have the supporting reports he signed himself, Santos added.

According to Santos, As explained and testified by Benhur Luy, the SAROs cannot be released without the endorsement letters and the project listing which he (Revilla) himself signed. Those are the important documents para ma-link namin si Senator Revilla doon sa PDAF scam.”

The arraignment and the defense team 30 days to record their memoranda before presenting the plunder case for verdict was given by Division director Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz.


Revilla’s case is the first to be done since those against his previous associates, previous Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, are still in the preliminary stage. Last June 2014, Revilla was prosecuted for plunder before the Sandiganbayan.

The reporters attempted to interview him while he left the court. The only thing Revilla said was “God is great” when he was asked to give a comment.

Santos, then, said that the prosecution is certain that Revilla and his co-accused will be found guilty over the affirmed misuse of P224 million worth of PDAF.

“We are confident that we have proven our case against Senator Revilla and the rest of the accused,” said Santos.

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Source: GMA