Revilla appeals dismissal of quashal bid in pork barrel scam case
Former senator Ramon Revilla Jr. has appealed the dismissal of his bid to quash his plunder information for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
In his motion for reconsideration filed before the Sandiganbayan First Division, the detained lawmaker said the court erred in dismissing his motion to quash and should therefore reconsider its ruling.
Revilla also claimed that the very Sandiganbayan ruling, which noted Revilla’s endorsement of the bogus foundations that implemented the ghost pork barrel fund projects as a part of a whole process, failed to identify the senator’s alleged “overt act” to commit plunder.
“The Court’s ruling effectively confirms that the Information does not adequately inform the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him,” Revilla said in his appeal.
Revilla also appealed the court’s finding that his reliance on co-accused Juan Ponce Enrile’s bill of particulars is misplaced because this is different from the motion to quash.
The court said a bill of particulars assumes the information is valid, while a motion to quash deems the information defective, agreeing with the prosecution that Revilla is fully informed of the plunder information against him as shown by his filing of a motion for judicial determination of probable cause and a petition for bail and his active participation in the case.
Revilla said he actively participated in the proceedings of his case only because he understood the information using “conclusions of law” which do not allege the “facts” of the case.
“Suffice it to note that in all of those instances, his awareness of the nature and cause of the accusation against him was based on an Information which… do not allege ‘facts’ or ‘acts’ but ‘conclusions of law,’ or even assuming the ‘conclusions of law,’ nonetheless do not allege facts constituting the offense of plunder,” Revilla said.
“Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that for the foregoing reasons, the Court reconsider its Resolution denying Revilla’s motion to quash and that in lieu thereof, to order the dismissal of the instant case and his immediate release from detention,” Revilla added.
In the Supreme Court, Revilla lost his petition after the magistrates sustained the finding of probable cause for plunder against him.
It took over two years for the embattled senator to face his charges in a trial.
Revilla surrendered and was detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in 2014 for plunder for allegedly pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the scheme of using the pork barrel fund in ghost projects by mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Also detained for plunder is Revilla’s colleague, former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who was denied bail while accused of pocketing P183.7-million kickbacks. Enrile, now out on bail, is accused of receiving P172.8-million kickbacks.
Their plunder and graft charges were filed with the Sandiganbayan by the Office of the Special Prosecutor in June 2014. Their trial is underway. RAM/rga
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