SC dismisses Revilla’s petition on plunder-related issuances due to acquittal
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has junked for being moot and academic Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s petition to nullify several Sandiganbayan issuances related to his plunder case.
In a resolution dated November 19, the SC en banc said that the First Division of the Sandiganbayan already acquitted Revilla of the crime.
“To recall, the instant petition stemmed from Sandiganbayan’s denial of procedural incidents in the main case for plunder. As the main case has already been resolved in the petitioner’s favor, which can no longer be appealed, this case no longer presents any justiciable issue which the Court can rule upon,” the resolution said.
“Simply, since the main case has already been decided on the merits, the instant petition, which involves issues that are merely incidents thereof, has become moot and academic,” it added.
Based on the resolution, a case is considered moot and academic “when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that an adjudication of the case or a declaration on the issue would be of no practical value or use.”
In his petition, Revilla sought the nullification of three Sandiganbayan issuances—an Order dated December 7, 2017 denying his Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence; a Resolution dated February 23, 2017 denying his Motion to Quash his plunder case; and a Resolution dated November 9, 2017 whereby the Sandiganbayan resolved to admit the prosecution’s formal offer of evidence.
Revilla, however, was acquitted of the crime on December 7, 2018 for “failure of the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
“A judgement of acquittal is final, unappealable, and immediately executory upon its promulgation and, as such, is no longer subject to appeal,” the resolution stated.
“In light of the favorable judgement which is already in favor of the petitioner, there is no reason to rule on issues presented in the instant petition which aims ultimately for the same outcome,” it added.
Revilla’s plunder case stemmed from his alleged involvement in the “Pork Barrel Scam.”
He was accused of allocating P224 million from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations operated by Janet Lim-Napoles.
Revilla’s co-accused Napoles and lawyer Richard Cambe, however, were convicted of the crime.