With a 13-1-1 vote turnout, the Supreme Court decided this Tuesday, December 6, to dismiss the bail petition of former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr to dismiss his case which involved him to the P224-million plunder case and the multi-million peso pork barrel scam.
The SC revealed that Revilla cited lack of probable cause.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. was the only dissenter in the court's decision while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza refused to participate in the voting session. The majority tended to the junking of Revilla's plea.
Together with 3 former senators, Revilla is facing plunder charges for allegedly indulging themselves to discretionary fund diversions into fake non-governmental organizations in order to gain large kickbacks.
It was in early December 2014 when "strong" evidence surfaced against the Senator, as found by Sandiganbayan's First Division. The material went to prosecution.
Among the compelling evidence cited by the Sandiganbayan then were:
- Letters signed by Revilla endorsing the release of his PDAF, and another letter confirming the previous endorsement letter.
- A report from the Anti-Money Laundering Council showing Revilla's and his family's bank accounts ballooned 30 days after each recorded release of kickbacks in Luy's ledger.
The anti-graft court resorted to: "In fine, the prosecution has established that there exists strong evidence that accused Revilla, [Richard] Cambe, [Janet] Napoles, in conspiracy with one another, committed the capital offense of plunder defined and penalized under RA 7080, and thus are not entitled to the constitutional right to bail."
Sharing the same fate as Revilla's, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
However, their co-accused former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was freed on bail in August 2015 for "humanitarian reasons".
During now President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign, he vowed to Revilla's home city that, "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."
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