Gov’t prosecutors seek garnishment of Bong Revilla’s alleged kickbacks
MANILA, Philippines – State prosecutors on Monday filed a motion for the court to secure Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s alleged kickbacks worth P224.5 million from the pork barrel scam transactions.
The prosecuting panel filed an ex parte motion for issuance of writ of preliminary attachment or garnishment before the Sandiganbayan’s first division on Monday.
The garnished properties could be in the form of cash, real properties, shares of stocks, and other financial instruments, the motion said.
The prosecutors said there is a need to preserve the alleged kickbacks in the course of the court hearings.
“There is prima facie evidence showing that much of accused’s wealth is ill-gotten, the same having been sourced from public money amassed, accumulated or acquired from bribes, commissions and kickbacks amounting to P224 million from his P515 million PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Funds). Such P224 million wealth, which appears to be prima facie ill-gotten, has to be preserved pending final determination of the legality, thereof, including any purchased property sourced from such money,” the motion read.
In the motion, the prosecution wants to secure Revilla’s alleged commissions with the help of the Sandiganbayan Sheriff and Security Services, the sheriffs of Metro Manila and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
A notice of garnishment is a legal notification served on a third party to hold, subject to a court’s direction, money or property belonging to a person or persons that are subject to litigation. This means that if the court issues the notice, it deems that Revilla may owe the garnished assets to the government, which maintains that these assets were unlawfully acquired and therefore belong to the public coffers.
The prosecution said Revilla “had the means and capacity to conceal, remove or dispose of the monies and properties he unlawfully acquired.”
“The accused has abused the ordinary PDAF processes to cloak with a mystique of legality their nefarious scheme of siphoning public monies for their own. It is thus quite logical to believe that he will likewise abuse judicial and legal processes to conceal or dispose any part of his unlawfully acquired wealth,” the motion read.
Senators Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile as well as their aides and alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles are detained to stand trial on plunder charges arising from the pork barrel scam.
Revilla and Estrada are locked up at the PNP Custodial Center while Enrile is under hospital detention.
The prosecution said their motion is necessary to protect the interests of the State in forfeiture cases and to prevent the concealment of ill-gotten wealth.
“Without this provision remedy, the State will be left holding an empty bag even if it eventually obtains a favorable judgment after trial,” the motion read.
“Indeed, an ex-parte preliminary seizure of the real and personal properties of the accused in favor of the State, including his cash and bank deposits, is necessary to ensure that the properties are not sold, transferred, destroyed or used for further illegal activity prior to any final forfeiture judgment that may be issued by this Honorable Court,” it added.
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