The Sandiganbayan’s First Division canceled Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s scheduled trial for plunder on Thursday because the court has to make clarifications on the prosecution’s marking of evidence.
Revilla is facing a P224-million plunder case in connection with the alleged illegal use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel. His co-accused include his former aide Richard Cambe and Janet Lim-Napoles.
The trial was supposed to open start yesterday but it was reset to February 9 because Cambe has yet to submit the soft copy of his pre-trial brief.
The court also canceled the scheduled trial dates on January 19 and 26 as well as February 2.
The prosecution intends to present 119 witnesses, 77 of whom were the supposed beneficiaries of the projects funded by Revilla’s “pork barrel” and bank representatives.
“There are so many witnesses this will probably continue forever,” former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, who is a collaborating counsel for Revilla’s camp, remarked.
Revilla agreed that he is facing a lengthy trial.
“We expected that this would be expedited but it seems that this will take a long time.
I’m okay but this fight is going to take long. Let us just pray,” he told reporters.
Revilla, who is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, was accompanied yesterday by his wife, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla.
“It is sad because the more witnesses that the prosecution will present, the longer it will take,” she said. REINA TOLENTINO