EMBATTLED Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., one of the 38 people facing plunder complaints in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, has sued the whistleblowers in what is seen as an attempt to delay his prosecution.
House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list, a lawyer, made the observation a day after Revilla filed a damage suit against PDAF mess whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Sunas.
Revilla is also asking the whistleblowers to return P502-million worth of his PDAF to his office.
”Legally speaking, the damage suit filed in Cavite RTC [Regional Trial Court] is a sound legal strategy because it is in the nature of a prejudicial question. The resolution of the Cavite case is an issue that has to be resolved first before the Ombudsman and eventually the Sandiganbayan can proceed in the plunder charge,” Tugna told the Times.
The P10-billion PDAF mess allegedly benefited bogus entities owned by Janet Lim-Napoles.
The Office of the Ombudsman has yet to file a case against any of the 38 before the Sandiganbayan.
”This move would mean that before the Ombudsman can proceed in the determination of probable cause against Senator Revilla in the plunder case, the authenticity or forgery of the documents should be determined in Cavite-Regional Trial Court where Sen. Revilla is from,” Tugna added.
Revilla has repeatedly insisted on his innocence from the PDAF scam, arguing that his signatures were forged by the Napoles-owned non-government organizations.