Revilla ac­quit­ted of plun­der, re­leased from jail soon

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

FOR­MER se­na­tor Ra­mon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was ac­quit­ted by the Sandi­gan­bayan of plun­der charges in re­la­tion to his sup­posed in­volve­ment in the multi-bil­lion-peso Pri­or­ity Devel­ope­ment As­sis­tance Fund (PDAF) scam.

The Sandi­gan­bayan Spe­cial Divi­sion voted 32 to dis­miss the plun­der charges against Revilla dur­ing the pro­mul­ga­tion of his case on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 7.

Revilla is still fac­ing graft charges, also in re­la­tion to the pork bar­rel scam.

The three Sandi­gan­bayan jus­tices who voted in fa­vor of Revilla’s ac­quit­tal are As­so­ciate Jus­tices Geral­dine Econg, Edgardo Cal­dona and Ge­orgina Hi­dalgo.

The two who dis­sented are As­so­ciate Jus­tices Efren dela Cruz and Maria Teresa GomezEs­toesa.

The Sandi­gan­bayan, mean­while, found Revilla’s co-ac­cused Richard Cambe, his for­mer chief of staff and pork bar­rel scam mas­ter­mind Janet Lim-Napoles and guilty of the same charges.

The two were sen­tenced to reclu­sion per­petua or a max­i­mum of 40 years im­pris­on­ment and were barred from hold­ing pub­lic of­fice.

Revilla was ac­cused of pock­et­ing P224 mil­lion in kick­backs from bo­gus projects with the aid of Napoles.

He has been de­tained at the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice Cus­to­dial Cen­ter in Camp Crame since June 2014 along with for­mer se­na­tor Jing­goy Estrada who is out on bail.

PNP spokesper­son Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Benigno Du­rana Jr. on Fri­day said Revilla will still un­dergo a “process”, in­clud­ing a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion, be­fore he can be fi­nally re­leased from the cus­to­dial cen­ter.

Revilla along with his fam­ily, lawyers and sup­port­ers, ar­rived at the PNP cus­to­dial in Camp Crame around 11:30 a.m. from the pro­mul­ga­tion of his case at the Sandi­gan­bayan in Que­zon City.

Estrada, who ac­com­pa­nied Revilla as he re­turned to Camp Crame, said his ac­quit­tal gives him hope that charges against him will also be cleared.

“Medyo malaki yung boost sa amin ngayon, lalo na sa ‘kin. Dahil naac­quit si Se­na­tor Bong Revilla, sig­uro unti-unti nang nalala­man ng taum­bayan na medyo na­pagkaisa­han lang kami in the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said.

He said he is also happy for his friend will be fi­nally re­leased from jail.

“Of course def­i­nitely (Im happy). I am pray­ing na ga­nun rin ang kalal­abasan ng kaso ko. Sino na na­man di magig­ing masaya af­ter four years and five months be­hind bars...ngayon na siya makakal­abas okay na­man he is in a happy mood,” said Estrada. (Keith Calayag/Third Anne Per­alta-Malonzo/ SunS­tar Philip­pines)

Filipino ac­tor and for­mer Philip­pine Se­na­tor Ra­mon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr., right, hugs his lawyer dur­ing the pro­mul­ga­tion of a plun­der case at the Sandi­gan­bayan anti-graft court in metropoli­tan Manila, Philip­pines on Fri­day, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP)

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