Bong Revilla in petition to SC: Sandiganbayan violated my rights
Former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has accused the Sandiganbayan of violating his rights as an accused in the P224.5-million plunder case in connection with the pork barrel scam.
In his 65-page petition filed with the Supreme Court (SC), a copy of which was sent to reporters over the weekend, Revilla said his rights to due process, to be presumed innocent, to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him, and to be given a fair trial were violated when his motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence and his motion to quash and motion for reconsideration were dismissed by the anti-graft court.
With the denial of his motions, the Sandiganbayan has set the reception of evidence for the accused for Jan. 25 and 30; Feb. 1, 6, 13, 15, 20, 22, and 27; and March 6 and 8.
The senator, through his counsel Estelito P. Mendoza, told the high court that the anti-graft court denied all the motions filed by Revilla and admitted all the evidence presented by the prosecution even if none of the evidence directly pointed to Revilla’s participation in the ghost government project.
Under the law, plunder is supposed to be committed by a series of overt acts. In this case, however, no evidence was presented to show the overt acts committed by Revilla was mentioned except for his endorsement of the nongovernment organization of Janet Lim Napoles.
“Quite plainly, the above does not identify the particular overt acts but describes an entire process within which those acts are to be found,” his petition said.
Citing a similar case, the petition mentioned the case of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile where the high court itself described the prosecution’s act as a “generalized or shotgun approach in alleging the criminal overt acts.”
While the case is pending with the Supreme Court, Revilla urged the high court to issue a restraining order on the presentation of evidence beginning Jan. 25 and to allow him to post bail.
The senator also urged the high court to hold an oral argument on the matter.
“A hearing on the petition and on these interim orders would be a vehicle for the court’s understanding of their relationship to each other and the fundamental premises of the petition,” Revilla’s petition stated. /atm
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