Revilla wants whistleblowers’ ‘pork’ testimonies discredited
Former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has asked the Sandiganbayan not to give credence to the testimonies of the pork barrel scam whistleblowers and the documents he had disowned, as he laid down his final arguments in his P224.5-million plunder case.
In his 54-page memorandum, Revilla told the court’s First Division that his right to due process was violated because the testimonies were supposedly tainted by undue influence and suppression of evidence.
Revilla hinged this argument on whistleblower Marina Sula’s claim, during the presentation of defense witnesses last June 28, that she was coached by Ombudsman prosecutors into corroborating the statements of her coworker Benhur Luy.
Dismissal ‘called for’
“Dismissal of the instant case is called for, or at the very least, to deny any probative worth to the testimony of [Benhur] Luy and the other whistleblowers as witnesses for the prosecution,” read Revilla’s memorandum.
Sula’s statements should also lead the court to make “a more demanding evaluation of the evidence to determine whether the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” he added.
To recall, Sula had claimed in court that Luy forged Revilla’s signature in the documents.
Luy, in an Aug. 7 hearing, maintained that he “did not sign any of the endorsement letters relating to the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) of Sen. Revilla.”
He said he only prepared the drafts, and the documents were finalized by the senator’s chief of staff, Richard Cambe.
Revilla is accused of misusing his PDAF allocations by funneling them into “ghost projects” of foundations controlled by alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The defense said the Ombudsman “failed to prove that accused Revilla signed these endorsement letters.”
The senator also argued that none of the witnesses personally saw him receive the kickbacks supposedly given to Cambe on his behalf.
Revilla, represented by former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, claimed that the only element of plunder proven by the prosecution was the fact that he was a public officer.
“No evidence beyond reasonable doubt has been offered and admitted by the court proving any element of the offense,” read the memorandum.
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