Sandigan upholds Revilla suspension over pork case
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan first division on Wednesday upheld the 90-day suspension on Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. from his Senate duties as he stands trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
Revilla thus completes the line-up of senators whose suspensions were upheld by the anti-graft court – fellow co-accused Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
The Senate had enforced the suspension of Estrada and Enrile.
In a resolution released Wednesday, the anti-graft court found no merit in Revilla’s motion for reconsideration on the court’s earlier decision ordering the Senate to suspend Revilla for 90 days as stated in the Anti-plunder law.
The court had said that Revilla while in office might tamper with evidence and influence the prosecution and witnesses involved in his pork barrel scam case.
Revilla in his appeal said suspending him might disenfranchise the voters who elected him in office. He was elected to office in 2010 with over 19.5 million votes.
Revilla had also said he could not be suspended because the validity of the case information against him is not yet final.
But the court said without a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court, the anti-graft court can suspend a government officer as a matter of course.
The court also said it already found validity in the information.
The court also suspended Revilla’s legislative aide Atty. Richard Cambe as Revilla’s co-accused in the scam.
“In the present cases, the validity of the information against Revilla and Cambe has been established… From there, it may proceed to suspend the accused-movants as a matter of course, absent a restraining order from the Supreme Court,” the resolution read.
Revilla, Cambe and Estrada are detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center as they stand trial for plunder.
Meanwhile, Enrile is in the PNP General Hospital under police custody over the scam. Two other co-accused, alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Enrile’s resigned chief of staff Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, are both detained in a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology female ward in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.
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