Published: Tuesday 06 December, 2016

SC Denies Bong Revilla Plea to Dismiss P200 M Plunder Case

Former senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. will remain in jail. This after the Supreme Court denied Bong Revilla’s petition to dismiss the plunder case against him for lack of probable cause.

Bong revilla plunder

Another setback for Bong Revilla in his plunder case. (PHOTO: UNTV)

Supreme Court denied the petition of Revilla and affirmed earlier findings by the Sandiganbayan on the P224 million pork barrel plunder case filed by the Ombudsman. The Sandiganbayan in 2014 ruled that the prosecution presented ‘compelling’ evidence to try Revilla for plunder.

In his petition, Revilla sought to dismiss the probable cause ruling on his plunder case. His camp said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales committed grave abuse of discretion when she issued the resolution charging him with plunder in 2014.

Revilla’s legal team also argued that their client’s rights to due process were violated when Ombudsman Morales denied his request to be served copies of evidence against him so that he could defend himself.

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“The Ombudsman violated Senator Revilla’s fundamental Constitutional rights to due process and to confront the accusations against him. Such rights are not mere rights ‘he believed in’ but are rights that are guaranteed in the Philippine constitution,” said the former senator’s petition.

But the vote of the Supreme Court was overwhelming. Voting 13-1, the high court dismissed Revilla’s plea. Only Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. dissented while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case.

It’s the latest setback for the former senator who was hoping to turn his case around after being jailed since June 20, 2014 due to plunder. Bong revilla was also counting on being allowed to post bail for his case so that he can spend time with his family. Revilla’s bail is one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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“Ako, you can be very sure, lalabas ‘yan, lalabas siya diyan. I cannot guarantee na ‘yung kaso mae-erase, pero I will see to it that he will be given the right to bail,” said Duterte while campaigning in Cavite in early 2016.

But that seems out of the question now as the Supreme Court vote means evidence against Revilla is strong. Plunder is a no-bailable offense.

Bong Revilla’s co-accused, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, also remains in jail. Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, on the other hand, was allowed to post bail for humanitarian reasons due to his advanced age.