Revilla, Napoles appeal junked bail pleas
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. and Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind, filed a motion for reconsideration in the Sandiganbayan in connection with their denied bail petitions.
In his motion, Revilla claimed the court erred in finding strong evidence against him and said his signatures were forged.
“With due respect, the Honorable court erred in finding that strong evidence of guilt exists against Senator Revilla for the crime of plunder,” the motion read.
He said their handwriting expert Atty. Desiderio Pagui was able to prove that his signature on the pork barrel documents were forged.
Revilla also said that principal whistleblower Benhur Luy and the other witnesses did not personally see him receive kickbacks from the scam.
He also said that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report, which accused Revilla of depositing millions of unexplained wealth and withdrawing these at the height of the scandal, is not conclusive to show that he committed plunder.
Revilla also said the court brushed aside the inconsistencies in Luy’s hard drive, which contained the daily transactions pertaining to the scam.
The movie actor turned senator also asked the court to allow him to present more evidence for the granting of his bail petition in the plunder case. He said he would present more handwriting experts to prove that his signatures were forged.
On the other hand, Napoles claimed that the evidence against her were “hearsay, speculative and conjectural testimonies” by the whistleblowers.
She said the witnesses did not say they personally witness Napoles talk with Revilla about the scam.
Napoles also said the AMLC report, which likewise implicated her as controlling the bogus foundations used in the scam, is “multiple hearsay” because it is not based on facts.
She also said Luy’s ledger, which detailed the commissions, is nothing more than a “list” or a “diary” that does not prove the participation of the public officials involved.
Napoles also said she could not be tried for plunder because she is a private individual, not a public official.
Revilla and Napoles are detained for plunder for allegedly conniving to pocket millions of kickbacks from the senator’s Priority Development Assistance Funds through ghost projects.
Also detained are Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile over the pork barrel scam.
Revilla’s denied bail is the first of the Sandiganbayan’s decision finding strong evidence against the accused senators.
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