The prosecution is asking the Sandiganbayan’s First Division to deny pleas of Janet Lim-Napoles and Richard Cambe to file demurrers to evidence in the P224-million plunder case they are facing along with former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
The trial started in June and the prosecution finished presenting its evidence in October. The prosecution filed its 406-page formal offer of evidence on October 23.
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 would have to take its turn to present its evidence.
In a ruling dated November 9, the court admitted all the pieces of evidence offered by the prosecution “which will be considered in the evaluation of the evidence in the decision of the case on the merits.”
Napoles and Revilla’s former aide Cambe later filed motions seeking the court’s permission to file demurrers to evidence.
In a motion filed on November 24, Napoles’s camp said in part that “it was accused Napoles, a private individual, who was alleged to have unjustly enriched herself in conspiracy and with the assistance of the [then-]public officers charged herein… In the case of plunder, it must be shown that the public officer was principally and ultimately benefited or enriched. Obviously, the information failed to specify who is the main plunderer in this case. Hence, on this point the plunder charge against accused Napoles should be dismissed.”
In a motion also filed on November 24, Cambe said in part that “[w]ith the indulgence of this honorable court, the accused seeks leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is not sufficient to warrant a conviction of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
Cambe also said in part that he “has no hand in the implementation of PDAF projects that allegedly was the factor that made his co-accused [to]allegedly amass and accumulate ill-gotten wealth.”
But in its consolidated comment/opposition, the prosecution argued that it “was able to present sufficient evidence establishing the foregoing elements” of the offense charged “as well as the” supposed “participation of each of the accused.”