Bong Revilla plunder pretrial delayed anew
For the third time, the pretrial for plunder of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was deferred with the defense panels not yet finished in the marking of evidence.
The Sandiganbayan First Division on Thursday reset the scheduled pretrial to March 7.
Revilla’s pretrial for plunder had been deferred last May 21 and Sept. 30, 2015.
Revilla’s trial had not yet started more than a year since he surrendered for plunder on June 2014 over allegations that he earned P224.5 million in kickbacks from accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
READ: Revilla surrenders
During the hearing, Revilla’s lawyer Reody Anthony Balisi said the defense wants to mark the documents the panel wants the court to subpoena.
Revilla earlier filed a motion asking the court to order various government offices to present certain documents helpful to the defense – the transcripts of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing the pork barrel scam, as well as the travel records of lead witness, Napoles’ former finance officer Benhur Luy.
Revilla had said Luy’s travel records from Aug. to Dec. 2008 would show that Luy was abroad on the dates he alleged he supposedly delivered kickbacks to Revilla.
Revilla also wanted to subpoena the case file of the forfeiture case filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council before the Manila Regional Trial Court against Luy and Napoles that would show Luy’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.
Revilla withdrew his appearance for Thursday’s hearing.
Meanwhile, his co-accused and former chief of staff Richard Cambe attended the pretrial.
Cambe’s lawyer Michael Ancheta requested more days to mark the documentary evidence.
Napoles’ lawyer Dennis Buenaventura also requested half a day to complete the marking.
Division chairman Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz deferred the pretrial and gave the prosecution five days to comment on Revilla’s motion for subpoena and for the defense five days thereafter to respond, before submitting the motion for resolution.
“Wherefore, in lieu of the joint manifestation of the defense that they have yet to complete the marking of documentary exhibits, let the pretrial be reset on March 7 at 8:30 am. to enable the defense counsels to complete the pre-marking of documentary exhibits,” Dela Cruz said.
The court had denied Revilla’s bail from plunder last December 2014.
Revilla is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center for plunder with colleague Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who was also denied bail from plunder for allegedly amassing P183 million in kickbacks from Napoles. IDL
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