Assistant Ombudsman explains why Revilla’s wealth must be seized
Video by Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines—The government is apprehensive that it would be left holding an empty bag once the plunder trial against Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla is concluded.
Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan, the Ombudsman spokesperson said the filing of a writ of garnishment against the assets of Revilla is a protection for the government.
“The writ of preliminary attachment is necessary to protect the interest of the government to prevent the removal, concealment and disposition of what are believed to be ill-gotten properties.”
“Without this remedy, the government would be left holding an empty bag even if it obtains a favorable judgment after trial on the merits,” Rafanan said.
The filing of writ of garnishment came following reports from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that Revilla closed some 20 bank accounts containing millions of pesos after the pork barrel scam issue went public.
Revilla is charged with plunder and several counts of graft for allegedly siphoning off millions in his PDAF allocations and channeling these to bogus non-government organizations owned by alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The Revilla camp questioned the timing of the filing of the writ of garnishment.
Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano said it could be filed anytime.
“We filed because now we have evidence. We have a stronger ground to file the writ (of garnishment). When it is filed does not make any difference,” Justiniano, who is in charge of monitoring the progress of the PDAF-related cases said.
The properties sought for garnishment are in the form of cash, real properties, shares of stocks, and other financial instruments.
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.
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