The prosecution has finished presenting its evidence against Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., who is facing plunder and graft complaints at the Sandiganbayan in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
Director Joefferson Toribio of the prosecution panel on Tuesday said they have no more witnesses to present.
The court gave the prosecution 20 days from Tuesday to formally offer their evidence, and the accused 20 days to submit his comments.
Five days after the court resolves this matter, the defense may seek permission to file a demurrer to evidence.
“Demurrer simply means we will be contesting that the evidence of the prosecution has proven the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt and that therefore, if they have failed to do so, we are no longer obliged to present any evidence. Instead, the court will enter a judgment of acquittal so that is the end of the case. We hope we just reach that point and after that we do not have to meet again,” Estelito Mendoza, one of Revilla’s lawyers, told reporters.
Revilla is one of three former senators accused by the Office of the Ombudsman of pouring millions of their pork barrel to fund non-existing programs of non-government organizations owned or controlled by Janet Lim Napoles.
The other two are Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile who were released on bail.
The Ombudsman filed 16 counts of graft against Revilla.
Mendoza said they will not file a motion for bail.
“Rather, we will file a demurrer which means the case is over, nothing to have a bail for,” he explained.
If a petition for demurrer to evidence is denied, the defense will have to present its evidence.
The court tentatively set the defense’s presentation of evidence on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on January 25.