Ang kapal, Hilbay says of Revilla for keeping ‘stolen public funds’
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial candidate and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay has slammed former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, saying that it takes a thick face to keep government funds which have been stolen from the public.
“Ibang klaseng kakapalan ng mukha ang ipagdamot sa mga kababayan natin ang perang ninakaw sa kanila, kahit Korte na mismo ang nagpapabalik noon,” Hilbay said in a statement.
“Iyong perang pinapabalik ay pera ng bayan. Perang dapat ginamit upang pagandahin ang buhay ng ordinaryong mamamayan – pondong maaaring gamitin sa pag-aaral, pabahay, pangkalusugan, at pangkabuhayan,” he added.
Hilbay’s comments were made after the Office of the Ombudsman filed a motion asking for a final judgment on whether Revilla is liable to pay part of the P124.5 million missing Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The actor-turned-politician, who was accused of allocating part of his PDAF to bogus non-government organizations owned by pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, was acquitted of plunder charges last December 2018.
However, questions surrounding the return of the public funds remained, with people unsure if only co-accused lawyer Richard Cambe and Napoles would pay for the damages, or whether he has to take share in it.
Lawyers of Revilla said that he was not required to shell out any money, as the decision cited Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which states “every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.”
If this principle is to be followed, because of this, they argued that they should not take part in returning the missing PDAF because he was not found criminally liable of plunder.
Earlier, the Sandiganbayan First Division — which handled Revilla’s pork barrel case — granted the former senator’s request for 20 days to respond on the prosecution’s motion. After Revilla’s camp files their reply, the prosecution will be given another 10 days to comment.
Hilbay, a lawyer by profession, said he stands with the Office of the Ombudsman move to make Revilla accountable.
“Naninindigan ako kasama ng Office of the Ombudsman na kailangang bayaran ni Bong Revilla ang 124.5 milyong pisong civil liability patungkol sa PDAF case kung saan sangkot siya,” he said.
“Malinaw ang batas, kahit anupamang pambabaluktot ang gawin ng kaniyang kampo: kahit sinong baguhang abugado ay alam na magkahiwalay ang civil at criminal liability, at magkaiba ang basehan upang patunayan ang obligasyon ng nasasakdal sa bawat kaso,” he explained.
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