Lack of TRO on Revilla trial blamed on Sereno issues
Former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza has blamed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for the Supreme Court’s lack of action on former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s plea to stop his plunder trial.
Mendoza asked the Sandiganbayan First Division on Tuesday to cancel more hearings in the plunder trial as he held out hope that the Supreme Court would soon issue the temporary restraining order (TRO) that Revilla had been requesting since January.
“I don’t think (Revilla) should be penalized on a problem not of his own making, nonetheless that of the Chief Justice,” said Revilla’s counsel.
“The postponement is not for casual reasons, it is for us and the SC to look into the issues substantial to the right to due process. This is the first time the Supreme Court is in a state of paralysis. Everybody is preoccupied with the Chief Justice,” he added.
Revilla was supposed to have presented evidence in his defense on Feb. 15, 20, 22 and 27, as well as March 6, 8, 13 and 15. All of these hearings were cancelled without him having begun his defense.
In a seven-page motion dated March 2, Revilla also admitted to the Sandiganbayan that he had not prepared evidence in his defense, because doing so would contradict his Supreme Court petition.
The SC petition, which sought the interim measures of suspending the hearings and releasing him from detention, was hinged on the issue of the Sandiganbayan’s December denial of his motion for leave to file a demurrer.
The demurrer questions the sufficiency of the Ombudsman’s evidence. —VINCE F. NONATO
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