Three of the prominent individuals indicted for plunder last week in connection with the pork barrel scam filed their motions for reconsideration with the Ombudsman on Monday, the last day they are allowed to do so.
Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. filed his motion for reconsideration at 2:20 p.m. through his lawyer Joel Bodegon, while Ruby Tuason submitted hers through Dennis Manalo earlier in the morning.
In his motion, Revilla denied involvement in the scam.
“There is absolutely nothing in the records of this case that directly and credibly linked Senator Revilla to the alleged illegal PDAF [priority development assistance fund]scam,” the motion read.
The senator said the Ombudsman “erred” in finding probable cause to charge him with plunder and claimed the “complete absence” of proof.
“There is no credible evidence on record to establish that Senator Revilla is part of the conspiracy to commit the crimes charged. Indeed, all testimonial [pieces of]evidence against Senator Revilla are hearsay and are inadmissible,” the motion said.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s chief of staff Jessica Gigi Reyes also filed her motion for reconsideration but only through a messenger.
Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada did not file his.
Last week, the Ombudsman found probable cause to file plunder charges against the three senators and their staff, along with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
“The three senators took undue advantage of their official position to illegally divert, in connivance with certain respondents, the respective PDAF allocations to the Napoles NGOs [non-government organizations] in exchange for kickbacks or commissions,” Ombudsman spokesman Asryman Rafanan said.
Rafanan said Enrile received up to P172 million, Revilla P242 million and Estrada P183 million in kickbacks from awarded PDAF projects.
They were given five days to file their motions upon receipt of the Ombudsman’s resolution.
The anti-graft office now has two months to resolve the motions for reconsideration.
In her motion, Reyes claimed a lack of due process and denied involvement in the PDAF scam.
Tuason meanwhile again asked the Ombudsman to grant her immunity as state witness.
Plunder is punishable under Republic Act 7080 by reclusion perpetua and forfeiture of the ill-gotten wealth. It is a non-bailable offense. Reina Tolentino