“The real masterminds, Aquino, Abad, and Drilon remain untouched, and free.” - Independent Political Consultant over Pork Barrel scam - The Daily Sentry

Friday, December 7, 2018

“The real masterminds, Aquino, Abad, and Drilon remain untouched, and free.” - Independent Political Consultant over Pork Barrel scam



Benigno Aquino III, Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Butch Abad / Composite photos from Wikipedia, Senate of the Philippines and Inquirer.net
Adolfo Mortera vented out through his Facebook post, his ‘mixed reactions’ amid the ‘NOT GUILTY’ verdict by the Sandiganbayan to former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

This, after Revilla was finally acquitted from criminal charges filed by ex – Ombudsman Conchita Morales for his alleged involvement with the controversial Pork Barrel scam, putting him behind bars since 2014.


Mortera is convinced that the public outrage was ‘barking at the wrong tree’ at a time when Pork Barrel was at its peak and everyone wants to put somebody accountable for what was touted as the ‘biggest scandal’ of the Philippine’s Political History.

Revilla, however, was not one to solely implicate since he never received the biggest ‘pork’ allocation along with former colleagues, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
Adolfo Mortera / Photo from Facebook
Mortera, in his post, said that, “there were others who did, and that included Noynoy's billions in pork, Abad for his tiny Batanes province, Roxas, Trillanes, etc.”

Here’s Mortera’s entire Facebook post, Friday, December 7, 2018:

“MIXED FEELINGS ON BONG REVILLA'S ACQUITTAL

When Bong Revilla was charged by ex-Ombudsman Morales for the pork barrel scam and susequently detained in 2014, he was leading in surveys among presidentiables for 2016. Pulse Asia and SWS surveys had him ahead of the pack that included Mar Roxas. Rodrigo Duterte was an unknown variable then.

The public outrage against Pork was at its peak, culminating in a One Million March against Pork Barrel at Luneta (where I also participated) where Noynoy Aquino was condemned as Pork Barrel King, with Butch Abad and Drilon as masterminds.

It was against this background when Ombudsman Morales charged Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and JPE with plunder for pork barrel funds.
Photo from Pork Barrel Primer
Please note that Bong Revilla didn't receive the biggest pork allocation. There were others who did, and that included Noynoy's billions in pork, Abad for his tiny Batanes province, Roxas, Trillanes, etc.

My belief even then was that Noynoy and Conchita cherry-picked Bong Revilla to water down the pork barrel issue. Why Bong? He was leading in the surveys, he is pro-GMA, Noynoy's hate object.

Why were Jinggoy and JPE included? Both were lukewarm to Aquino and of course, Conchita had to include them in the charge sheet to make it less obvious that they chose Bong as sacrificial lamb.

Bong's acquittal had more to do with weak evidence prepared by Conchita and her partner-in-crime Carandang and definitely not because Duterte had to do with it.

I'm happy that Revilla was acquitted, if only to highlight the selective justice system under the Aquino administration. At the same time, I am not happy with the apparent inconsistency: he walks free, but his chief of staff, Richard Cambe, and Janet Napoles, were found guilty and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

Something's wrong somewhere. To my mind, Janet Napoles was a pawn in the whole web of corruption. The real masterminds, Aquino, Abad, and Drilon remain untouched, and free.”

SANDIGANBAYAN JUDGE CLARIFIES REVILLA’S ACQUITTAL

“Yes, I know it’s unpopular.  I would have loved to be a heroine, that I convicted him,” said Sandiganbayan First Division Associate Judge Geraldine Faith Econg at the presser after acquitting Revilla, clarifying that she initially wanted to convict the former Senator of PLUNDER but was taken aback due to lack of substantial proof.

“But at the end of the day, I’m bound to rule based on evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense,” she added saying.

Econg believed that the prosecutors failed to essentially prove that Revilla indeed committed plunder or benefitted kickbacks allegedly from Pork Barrel.


“For failure of the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that accused Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. received, directly or indirectly, the rebates, commission, and kickbacks from his PDAF, the Court cannot hold him liable for the crime of plunder.  Accordingly, he is acquitted,” Econg said.

She also stressed that the court should have focused on the facts and rather not swayed by public opinion.

“Moreover, courts are expected to be insulated from the pressures of public opinion.  Popularity or unpopularity of the verdict should never be a factor in arriving at a decision,” she said.

“Rather the main consideration must be whether or not justice is served as warranted by the evidence on record,” Econg added.

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Source: Adolfo Mortera