Court freezes Bong Revilla’s properties under aliases
The Sandiganbayan has allowed the temporary freezing of properties under the different names of detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and his wife Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado.
In a resolution dated July 10, the antigraft court first division grants the prosecution’s request to include in preliminary writ of attachment the following aliases of Revilla, whose real name is Jose Marie Bautista: Revilla Jr. Ramon, Bong, Jose Marie M. Bautista, Jose Marie Mortel Bautista, Ramon Bong Jr. Bautista, Ramon Bong Bautista, and Bautista Jose Marie.
The court also ordered to include the joint properties of Revilla with Mercado under his wife’s different names: Mercado Lani Hernandez, Bautista Jesusa Victoria, Jesusa Victoria H. Bautista, and Lani Mercado Revilla.
The court noted the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) bank inquiry report which said Revilla and his wife had legally changed their names in 2009. Revilla changed his name from Ramon B. Revilla Jr. to Ramon “Bong” B. Revilla Jr. Mercado also changed her name from Jesusa Victoria Garcia Hernandez to Lani Hernandez Mercado.
The court said the inclusion of properties under Revilla’s aliases would not affect the import of its original February 2015 writ of preliminary attachment.
It also said the AMLC report which uncovered Revilla’s unexplained wealth in the course of the alleged scam also investigated the bank accounts under his different names, and yet he did not object to the inclusion of his properties under his aliases.
Meanwhile, the court rejected the prosecution’s request to also freeze the properties of Mercado under her name, saying only to be garnished were Revilla’s joint properties with Mercado.
“The writ of preliminary attachment shall not include the properties, bank deposits, investments etc. in the name of accused Revilla’s wife alone, she not being an accused in this case, and the prosecution not having presented reasonable grounds to justify their inclusion,” the court said.
“Let a writ of preliminary attachment issue as against Ramon ‘Bong’ B. Revilla Jr. requiring the sheriff of this court to attach so much of the property in the Philippines under the name of the accused or under his other names,” the court said.
The court had frozen Revilla’s properties pending his trial for plunder over the pork barrel scam, the alleged scheme of pilfering lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
The properties were garnished to ensure the government in a favorable ruling could take back the detained senator’s alleged kickbacks from the scam worth P224,512,500.