Bong on plunder: It’s Janet, not me
Former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the P224.5-million plunder case filed against him, saying evidence collected by the Ombudsman implicated only his chief of staff Richard Cambe and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, not him.
Revilla, through his lawyer former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, raised these arguments as he asked the antigraft court’s first division to grant him leave to file a demurrer and release him from detention.
The actor-politician was accused of receiving kickbacks, through Cambe, in exchange for endorsing Napoles-linked nongovernment organizations for projects funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork barrel.
In a 57-page motion, Revilla said the “ones solely responsible” for what turned out to be “ghost projects” were “Benhur Luy and his fellow whistleblowers under the direction and management of Napoles.”
He said there was “not a scintilla or iota of evidence” showing his involvement in the scam.
The motion claimed that Ombudsman investigators asked local government officials “leading questions” to pin down Revilla.
Revilla claimed there was no evidence that he received kickbacks that Cambe took on his behalf.
Among the pieces of evidence that Revilla questioned was testimony given by Leigh Von Santos, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) bank officer.
Santos testified on an AMLC report showing P87.6 million in deposits in the Revilla family’s bank accounts from 2006-2010 that were made within 30 days from the dates when the former senator allegedly received commissions as listed in Luy’s ledger.
Revilla argued that the AMLC never asked the Court of Appeals to freeze his or his family’s bank accounts, which meant the council didn’t see anything irregular in the deposits.