THE Sandiganbayan’s First Division denied the pleas of former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., his former aide Richard Cambe, and Janet Lim-Napoles to file demurrers to evidence in the P224-million plunder case, which they are facing in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
“After considering the evidence presented by the prosecution which the court admitted…, the court is of the view that there is a need for the accused to present evidence…,” Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz, who leads the court’s First Division, said in open court.
A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss in which a case is submitted for judgment based only on the prosecution’s evidence that the defense believes does not warrant conviction.
If a demurrer to evidence is denied, the defense will have to take its turn to present its evidence.
The defense can still file a demurrer to evidence after the plea to file one has been denied but according to one of Revilla’s lawyers, Estelito Mendoza, such a move comes with a risk.
“We have to study that carefully, whether we will take a chance by just filing a demurrer or we present evidence very likely that [former]Sen. Revilla…did not receive any single peso of the alleged ill-gotten wealth,” Mendoza said.
“We have the right to file demurrer…but that would mean we waive the presentation of evidence so there is a risk there,” he added. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO