Bong Revilla slams prosecution delays in pork case
Detained former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., has expressed frustration over delays in his plunder and graft cases in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
In a statement on Sunday, Revilla deplored the prosecution’s move to ask for four more days in the pre-trial conference of the graft cases.
The pre-trial conference is the stage where the prosecution and defense mark their evidence and stipulate agreed-upon facts.
“This will result [in] even more delays,” Revilla said of the extension being sought.
He noted that earlier this month, the beginning of his plunder trial on Jan. 12 had to be pushed back to Feb. 9, as the court had yet to release the pre-trial order governing the proceedings.
This was after the court found that the pre-trial brief of the prosecution needs to be corrected first when it comes to the marking of certain pieces of evidence.
Revilla urged the Sandiganbayan First Division to “look through the dilatory tactics of the prosecution panel and no longer allow any more delays.”
He claimed that the prosecution “simply wants to keep him in jail for the longest possible time without the case moving forward.”
“It seems that the Prosecution is preventing the truth from coming out. I’ve been detained for almost three years, but the trial has not started,” Revilla said.
“At the onset, I already said everyone will find out the truth, but how will that happen if the hearings could not push through?” he added.
Revilla’s P224.5-million plunder case plowed ahead of the related charges for 16 counts of graft for the irregular use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations. The parties have yet to wrap up pre-trial proceedings for the graft cases.
Revilla’s plunder case is also ahead of those filed against former Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile. The three opposition lawmakers were accused of earning kickbacks in exchange for diverting their PDAF shares to fake foundations allegedly controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
He and Estrada have been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center while facing the nonbailable plunder case since 2014.
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