Bong Revilla seeks dismissal of plunder
Detained former Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. has insisted that the Sandiganbayan should throw out his supposedly “vague” plunder case for violating his right to be properly informed of the accusations.
In a 32-page motion for reconsideration on Friday, Revilla’s camp reiterated that the charge sheet did not sufficiently inform him of the “overt criminal acts” he allegedly committed to acquire ill-gotten wealth in order to establish the offense of plunder.
Revilla’s camp, led by top defense lawyer, Estelito Mendoza, maintained that his endorsement of dubious foundations to implement his pork barrel projects is not listed as a “criminal act” under the plunder law.
It may be recalled that the Sandiganbayan First Division rejected this argument when it denied his motion to quash the case on Feb. 23. The court considered his endorsement of the nongovernment organizations as “part of the whole process” under the plunder accusation.
But Revilla reiterated that “no law, not the General Appropriations Act nor [Commission on Audit] rules relating to the implementation of [Priority Development Assistance Fund],” forbids senators from endorsing their pet projects.
He complained that by refusing to throw out the case, the court effectively placed on him the burden of reading the case information to find out how he is being accused of committing plunder.
“The burden of identifying and determining in the information the overt or criminal acts, in a combination or series, through which the ill-gotten wealth was amassed, accumulated or acquired, is imposed on the accused,” the appeal read.
This supposedly violated Section 14(2), Article III of the Constitution, which gives Revilla the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Revilla also took exception to the court’s observation that he could no longer question the indictment because he was able to take part in the case for the past two years and even petition for bail.
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