Revilla’s bail plea submitted for resolution
MANILA, Philippines — After over four months, the Sandiganbayan first division on Thursday finally submitted for resolution the bail plea of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., one of the three lawmakers accused in the pork barrel scam case.
This after state prosecutors and the defense counsels summed up their arguments against and for Revilla’s bail motion.
The court likewise submitted for resolution the bail motions of Revilla’s co-accused in the plunder case – alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Revilla’s alleged bagman Richard Cambe.
In his summation, prosecutor Joefferson Torribio said they were able to show overwhelming documentary and testimonial evidence that the three accused can be charged with plunder.
“We submit that with all documentary evidence and testimonies, we’ve not only presented high probability but the accused can be charged [with] plunder and that our evidence is overwhelming,” Torribio told the court.
“This case before us represents the biggest corruption scandal in our country in 2013,” he added.
In his summation, Revilla’s lawyer Joel Bodegon said the prosecution failed to present evidence that Revilla had a direct hand in the scam.
Bodegon added that the whistleblowers led by Benhur Luy did not testify that they directly transacted with Revilla about his kickbacks.
“All the prosecution was able to present are suppositions, conjectures and hearsay evidence,” Bodegon told the court.
Napoles’ lawyer Dennis Buenaventura, meanwhile, said in his summation that the prosecution failed to prove that Napoles directly gave Revilla his kickbacks personally or through his bank accounts.
The conclusion of the bail hearing gives way to the formal start of the trial on the corruption scandal.
The court said it would ask the Supreme Court for two more days before it releases its resolution, citing the voluminous pieces of evidence in the case.
This means the court’s ruling on whether or not to grant Revilla bail is expected next week.
Revilla is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center with fellow Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, whose bail hearing remains pending. Another co-accused Juan Ponce Enrile meanwhile is under hospital detention. Napoles is locked up at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward.
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