UP’s Paul Desiderio joins PBA Rookie Draft Janet Napoles, Cambe convicted SANDIGAN ACQUITS BONG REVILLA Duterte asks Congress to extend ML until end 2019

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The court, however, found Revilla’s aide, lawyer Richard Cambe, and “pork barrel queen” and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles guilty of the same charge. PRESIDENT Rod r i g o Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until end of 2019, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Friday.

“Yes,” Medialdea said when asked if Duterte has approved the recommendation of the police and military for extension of martial law in the region.

“[It’s] one year and [in] Mindanao,” he added.

Joint session may derail budget passage

Cambe and Napoles were sentenced to life imprisonment or 20 to 40 years jail time. They were also perpetually disqualified from holding government position.

The anti-graft court said the prosecution was not able to prove the guilt of Revilla, who was accused of allocating P224 million from his “pork barrel” or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus nongovernment organizations owned by Napoles.

This was the first pork barrel scam case the court has decided.

During the promulgation on Friday, the court said that it is Cambe, and not Revilla, who is guilty of misusing public funds.

Revilla was accused of allocating P224 million from his ‘pork barrel’, or the Priority Development Assistance Fund ( PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations owned by Napoles.

Revilla was not immedi- ately released since he still has several cases in connection with pork barrel scam. He posted P480,000 for the 16 counts of graft.

Asked for comment, Revilla’s counsel Atty. Estelito Mendoza said his client was acquitted due to insufficient evidence of the prosecution.

“Justice has been done, freedom has been delayed but Revilla loses freedom for more than four years and time will never be regained that is the tragedy,” said Mendoza. “No sufficient e-

vidence to convict (Revilla) and in my opinion no evidence even to indict.”

The former senator was accused of receiving P224.5 million kickback from the bogus non government organization of Napoles where he funneled his pork barrel funds.

The court issued a warrant of arrest against Revilla on June 2014. He voluntarily surrendered and was detained in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, former

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, president of LakasChristian Muslim Democrats lauded the decision.

“I am really grateful that Sen. Bong, our party chairman, was acquitted after a very stressful trial. This good decision will give a big boost to his senatorial bid,” said Romualdez.

Revilla is running for senator under Lakas-CMD, who recently had an alliance with Hugpong ng Pagbabago of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. — Leifbilly Begas

INQUIRER

FORMER Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla reacts after having been acquitted by the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City yesterday.

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