• Palace: Aquino won’t have to testify in Revilla case

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    President Benigno Aquino 3rd need not testify at the plunder trial of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, Malacañang said on Thursday.

    Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Aquino has no personal knowledge of the alleged pork barrel scam.

    “The requirement when you are a witness is that you have personal knowledge. So [what is our President’s personal knowledge about it]?” Lacierda told reporters in a news conference.

    “Remember that what happened to Sen. Revilla dates back to 2007 to 2009. So what relevance does it have to the President],” he said.

    In a 43-page pre-trial brief that he filed on Wednesday, Revilla listed Aquino as one of the witnesses he wanted to testify in his trial.

    Lacierda said it will be interesting to know how the President and other members of the Cabinet could possibly prove Revilla’s defense that he did not personally gain from the pork barrel scam.

    “How will their appearance or their testimony add any iota of defense or assistance to his claim that he did not profit [from the scam]?” he asked.

    The Palace official could not answer, however, when asked on whether the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan can subpoena the President and make him testify in Revilla’s defense.

    “It will be the first time [to have]a sitting President as a witness,” Lacierda said.

    “We will defer to the Sandiganbayan’s view on that particular request for summoning President Aquino to the witness stand,” he added.

    Besides Aquino, Revilla’s lawyers also want former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Commission of Audit chtef Grace Pulido-Tan to take the witness stand.

    Revilla is facing plunder and 16 counts of graft at the anti-graft court for allegedly pocketing over P224 million in kickbacks from projects funded by his pork barrel.

    He and Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who was also charged with plunder, are detained at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

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    5 Comments

    1. Revilla’s Stunt won’t work. His lawyer’s better go back to Political Science 101 and look up these 2 terms. They are separation of powers and sovereign immunity. I would tell Revilla’s, Atty. Joel Bodegon, that he knew it won’t work. It was a ploy that many know won’t work.

    2. It might be the fault of his lawyer Joel Bodegon. The Pres. of the Philippines cannot be subpoenaed by any court to testify in any case. The main reasoning is that the Chief Executive is so busy with more important pressing matters of State importance, he can’t waste his time on a criminal case of one person.So Sen. Bong Revilla that list of witnesses which included Pres. Aquino III is a stunt which your lawyer didn’t explain to you correctly.

    3. Rocky Coronel on

      Only the court can determine whether a high profile witness has to be called or not. Revilla’s legal strategy has to be explained well to the justices.

    4. For sure the Palace is scared to death that should King of Pork will be asked why he had Mar Roxas pick up Pogi Bong to a secret meeting and what and how much he promised Pogi Bong to vote for Mr. Renato Corona’s impeachment.

      • Rodolfo B. Tan on

        “For sure the Palace is scared to death that should King of Pork will be asked why he had Mar Roxas pick up Pogi Bong to a secret meeting and what and how much he promised Pogi Bong to vote for Mr. Renato Corona’s impeachment.”

        The Sandiganbayan court will just throw away this request and will say that the witness has no knowledge on the case because of relevancy. President Aquino was elected into office and assumed the position of President on June 2010. The PDAF case centers on the period of 2007 to 2009 so the requested witness to appear has no knowledge or relevance to any matter concerning the case. Ex-Supreme Court CJ Renato Corona was appointed Chief Justice on May 12, 2010 just one month before Pres. Aquino assumed office. CJ Renato Corona was impeached on Dec. 12, 2011 and on May 29, 2012, he was found guilty by the Senate of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment filed against him for his failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth. There is no relevancy to any issue regarding the case of Plunder and the PDAF Scam against Sen. Bong Revilla. It will be just disregarded by the Sandiganbayan court. These justices are NOT stupid. This lawyer of Revilla is ignorant.