After 6 months of repeated postponements, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr.’s plunder trial finally began on Thursday, but the former senator failed to show up on his plunder case’s first day of trial as he is currently confined due to hypertension at a hospital in Taguig City.
Bong Revilla’s counsel Atty. Reody Anthony Balisi informed the Sandiganbayan First Division during the hearing that the former senator could not show up because he is confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Balisi told the court: “We were informed yesterday (Wednesday) that the good Senator Revilla [Jr.] was confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center… when he was visiting his father.”
With the court’s permission, the younger Revilla visited his ailing father, also a former senator, Ramon Revilla Sr., at the same hospital last Tuesday.
The senior Revilla underwent a medical procedure last Monday for his Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Severe Mitral Regurgitation, and NYHA FC II.
Balisi showed during the trial Revilla Jr.’s medical certificate as well as his certificate of confinement as proof of his client’s condition.
“Due to this development, may we move that he remain at the hospital until he is discharged,” Balisi asked the court.
He added that they were informed that Revilla maybe discharged this Thursday at the earliest.
However, lead prosecutor Joefferson Toribio, opposed the pleading.
Toribio said: “He [Balisi] said until he [Revilla Jr.] is discharged, he did not say [Revilla] will be discharged today,”
But Balisi argued that the doctors will not “rule for certainty” on the unexpected development.
“But despite any of that, we were informed that he would be discharged today,” Balisi added.
The actor-politician is accused of pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks from his PDAF, through ghost projects of Napoles; the alleged mastermind.
Revilla surrendered and has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City since 2014.
Also accused for plunder are Revilla’s colleagues, former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.