- Bong Revilla was recently acquitted of his plunder case
- Revilla was in detention for four years
- KAMI shared what went on during the trial of his plunder case
It has been reported by KAMI before that actor-turned-senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was found “not guilty” of his plunder case with regard to the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or popularly known as the “pork barrel scam”.
So, what happened to the plunder case of Revilla when he was in detention for four years?
KAMI learned that in a report by Rappler that it was back in August 2013 when the issue about the “pork barrel scam” erupted. However, it was in April 2014 when the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict the accused, Revilla, former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile as well as the alleged pork barrel queen or mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles.
In June 2014, the Ombudsman filed plunder against the accused as well as hold departure order. On the other hand, Revilla received 16 counts of graft. He immediately surrendered. However, he refused to plea on his plunder case.
During the bail hearings in August 2014, the whistleblower Benhur Luy testified against Revilla. However, Luy admitted that he did not see Revilla actually signing the documents or letters to the alleged NGOs.
On October 9, 2014, the Ombudsman presented during the bail hearing the report by Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) which showed the recorded amounts that Luy allegedly gave to Revilla. The said amount was matched with the amount that was received in the bank accounts of the Revillas.
In February 2015, the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court froze the P224.5 million assets of Revilla.
The petition of Revilla to Sandiganbayan to dismiss his case went on.
On June 28, 2018, a prosecution’s witness named Marina Sula said that she was forced by the Ombudsman to corroborate with Luy. She also said that it was Luy who forged the signature of Revilla.
Revilla’s plunder trial ended last August 9. On October 17, he filed his certificate of candidacy to run as a senator once again. However, it was filed by his wife Lani Mercado on his behalf.
December 7, Sandiganbayan acquitted Revilla after four years in detention. However, he was ordered to return P124.5 million to the Philippine treasury. He also posted bail for the 16 pending counts of graft that is still under trial.
As reported by Inquirer, the Sandiganbayan did not find any proof that the former Senator received a kickback from the alleged P224.5 million pork barrel. They also said that the signature was forged.
“The Court fails to see the hand of Revilla guiding [Atty. Richard] Cambe, [Janet Lim] Napoles and the JLN staff in the scheme to receive kickbacks or commissions from the PDAF projects,” according to the decision of Sandiganbayan.
Revilla served in the Senate in 2004. He was first known as an action star in his films ‘Ang Panday’, ‘Exodus’, ‘Alyas Pogi’ at ‘Pepeng Agimat’.
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