Head-spinning case vs Revilla

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I’m no lawyer. But is circumstantial evidence enough to garnish P224.5 million of the assets of Sen. Bong Revilla who is facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan?

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Lawyer Leigh Von Santos of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said that deposits made in the bank accounts of Revilla were close to the dates where state witness Benhur Luy said he had made payoffs to the senator’s legislative officer, Richard Cambe, on orders of Janet Lim Napoles.

Is proximity of the dates proof positive of kickbacks? Santos, under cross examination by lawyers of Revilla, admitted that he has no proof that Janet Lim-Napoles transferred funds to Revilla. Cambe’s lawyer, Michael Ancheta, also elicited the admission of Santos that he had no bank records to support the claim that Napoles gave kickbacks to Cambe. Luy earlier said he had no personal dealings with Revilla and that he coursed the alleged kickbacks thru Cambe.

No wonder Revilla has expressed confidence that if the Sandiganbayan justices would decide his petition for bail on its merits, he would be granted provisional liberty and be able to go home to spend Christmas with his family. He contended that he could justify the deposits made in his bank accounts that were examined by the AMLC.

I wonder though if his optimism is well-placed because despite Santos’ testimony, the Ombudsman has filed a petition before the Sandiganbayan’s First Division seeking the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment of the P224.5 million that Revilla has declared as assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the motion last October 27 to preserve Revilla’s bank accounts, real properties, shares of stocks and cars while the accused is on trial. A writ of preliminary attachment would prevent him from disposing of or hiding his assets.

Revilla is irate at this move which he considered a diversionary tactic to cover up the admission of Santos that he has no bank records on the transfer of funds from Napoles to Revilla. The Revilla camp believes that Santos’ testimony has weakened the plunder case against the senator.

“I have not been proven guilty by the Sandiganbayan and yet the lawyers of the Ombudsman are now moving heaven and earth to garnish my assets, which are the legitimate fruits of my labor as an action star of more than 20 years,” Revilla said in a press statement from his detention cell at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

Revilla isn’t the only one incensed by the moves of the Ombudsman. Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who’s also facing plunder charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks from so-called pork barrel queen Napoles, was equally irate. Estrada lashed at Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for opposing his move to open the bank accounts of Luy.

He has enough reason to. Recall that at the plunder case filed against him and his father, former President Joseph Estrada, Morales who was then Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, penned a decision allowing the opening of the account of JV Ejercito, who is not even a co-accused in that plunder case, just like Luy.

“She is shamelessly contradicting herself,” Estrada said. Touche!

At the same time, he expressed elation that the Sandiganbayan has ignored the Ombudsman’s objections and allowed the opening of Luy’s bank accounts. Reports said the Ombudsman will appeal the decision before the High Tribunal.

Estrada said they want Luy’s bank account to be opened to find out if public funds went to Luy’s account. He added that such a finding would validate his personal view that Luy is “the most guilty.”

“He admitted that he had forged the signatures of mayors, of my staff and local officials like municipal agriculturists. He admitted that he’s a master forger. He should be the most guilty and yet, the prosecution and the Ombudsman don’t want his accounts to be opened. That’s unfair!” Estrada said.

Oh yes, he also has some pointed remarks about the yellow ribbon committee and Senate President Franklin Drilon who’s also facing plunder charges filed by Drilon’s former consultant, Boy Mejorada. Mejorada claimed that the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center, a pet project of Drilon, was overpriced by P488 million.

Estrada challenged Sen. TG Guingona, the yellow ribbon chair, to also investigate the alleged over pricing of the ICC “to show that he is not only after the opposition but also after their [the LP and Palace allies]allies.

“He should show the same enthusiasm [he had]in investigating on the PDAF in investigating the Iloilo Convention Center so it won’t be apparent that he’s singling us,” he said.

Guingona, a Malacañang acolyte who believes that no anomaly would stain the Aquino administration, had even described a testimony against Estrada as “a buzzer-beating three-point shot that won the game.”

efrendanao2003@yahoo.com

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12 Comments

  1. “I have not been proven guilty by the Sandiganbayan and yet the lawyers of the Ombudsman are now moving heaven and earth to garnish my assets, which are the legitimate fruits of my labor as an action star of more than 20 years,” Sen. Revilla has a point, knowing that there is no evidence against him.

  2. Pakana lang ng administrasyon ni Pnoy ang pagkaso kay Revilla, palibhasa mahigpit na makakalaban nila sa 2016 elections. Kaya ngayon pa lang sinisiraan na nila.

  3. The prosecution is desperate against Bong Revilla’s case when
    they dragged a so-called ‘IT expert’ who actually has no any
    background on the said field.

  4. NBI admitted that Luy’s harddrive is not an exact copy of
    JLN’s computer’s HDD? Whoah! Ang mga nag-askusang may
    dummy corporation sina Bong Revilla ay sila ring gumagamit
    ng dummy evidences para sulsulan ang kanilang mga
    kasinungalingan!

  5. I don’t judge right away but when the PDAF scam was exposed,
    I abhorred the senators involved and lauded the palace. But
    during the course of trials, I am enlightened that this is all
    indeed political persecution…

  6. the government is still slow as usual, they are not suppose to announce this in public to begin with, just go ahead and freeze his assets and cash and no bail, he should be kept in jail. what kind of justice system is this? chicken?

  7. Our system was set up to protect the elite class from anything unreasonable. Evidence must be solid against them. Payments of graft cannot be proved by suggesting that bank deposits made a week or more later in different amounts were these same payments. That is unreasonable.

    • if those deposits were made in cash basis..?talagang walang bank record…! bakit cash?! dapat c revilla magpakita ng ebedensya bakit cash ang deposit nya….!!

  8. I dont believe a word of what people like revilla say. Let me tell you if that money ,moved around in his accounts or appearing in his accounts at the time luy said he gave this cash to revilla was legitimate money he would have very easily produced evidence it came from this pay or that pay. If it was a payment from a film company then their records would prove they gave him that money on that date. Now its a few days after he received the money before he put it in any account, there are a few good reason he would wait a few days before depositing the money. But just look at his accounts & see if ammounts of money like that were consistently being moved around his accounts like before he was involved in the scam, if there arnt any movements it shows its illegal money. Legal money is so easy to prove, illegal money is so difficult to prove where you got it.
    Just like corona, he said that money in his account was his daughters money, now that daughter was married so why on earth would a married woman put millions of her pesos in her fathers bank account. Surely she would have it in her own bank account, the only reason it wouldnt be in her account is if it wasnt legitimate money, its all that simple. Would your husband or wife let you keep millions of your pesos in your fathers or anyone elses bank account, of course they wouldnt. These people think we are all fools.

    • Daniel B. Laurente on

      It is your presumption, it was like the way you thought it happened as you described it. Your thoughts only….nothing else?.

  9. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

    I agree that circumstancial evidence may not be enough to garnish the assets of Revilla. However, I can surmise that a very ‘strong’ circumstance is attendant to his case; he happens to be on the ‘wrong’ side!

    It is sad that all these investigations of government officials are going on which show that there are many rotten apples. But, what is ‘sadder’ is the fact that there is no consistency. Being so, I bet the vicious cycle will go on by the time another set of officials come in after the next elections and the next, etc.

    There should be a drastic change in the political culture in the country. To start with, only taxpayers can vote in furtherance to the “representation by taxation”.