Court resets graft trial of Revilla
The Sandiganbayan First Division has reset its trial on former Sen. Bong Revilla’s 16 graft cases from Dec. 6 to Jan. 10 to give way to the anticipated promulgation of the verdict in his plunder case on Dec. 7.
Thursday’s hearing would be the last to be held on the graft cases this year, after the court granted a request by Revilla’s lawyer Reody Anthony Balisi.
Balisi told justices that Revilla’s camp needed time to prepare for the judgment day on the plunder case, which would be the first in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The prosecution did not object to the request.
Associate Justice Efren N. dela Cruz, division chair, announced the cancellation of the hearing on Dec. 6 “as prayed for” by Balisi.
At this point in the graft trial, star whistleblower Benhur Luy was taking the witness stand to testify about the “rebates” allegedly given to legislators like Revilla.
His testimony would still be heard when the hearings resume next year.
Revilla’s graft cases concerned the alleged diversion of his P517-million Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to ghost projects of bogus foundations linked to alleged mastermind and Luy’s boss, Janet Lim-Napoles.
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