MANILA, Philippines – In an anticipated move, the camp of former Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla has sought the outright dismissal of the plunder raps he is facing before the Sandiganbayan and his immediate release from detention.
Revilla, through his lawyers led by Estelito Mendoza, submitted a 57-page motion to the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division asking for leave to file demurrer to evidence early this week.
A demurrer is normally filed to seek the dismissal of a case on the grounds of weak evidence presented by the prosecution.
The actor-turned-politician argued the evidence provided by the Ombudsman failed to link him directly to the P224.5-million plunder case; saying while his staff Richard Cambe may have accepted the bribes, this does not prove the money indeed went to him and his account.
Revilla further argued even the witnesses of the prosecution could not prove he received ‘kickbacks’ or ‘commissions’ from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles by allocating his pork barrel funds to bogus NGOs.
“No evidence has been presented by the prosecution of any amount allegedly received by Revilla by way of ‘kickbacks’ or ‘commissions’ from Napoles or any of her representatives. On the contrary, the witnesses of the prosecution have denied that any amount of money has been received by Revilla,” said Revilla’s motion.
The former lawmaker also asked the Sandiganbayan for his immediate release from detention at Camp Crame.
“Since the accused is under detention for nearly four years now, his release from detention is not just a constitutional right but a vindication that before the Sandiganbayan the search for justice is not a Don Quixote effort,” said the motion.
In September, Sandiganbayan ordered the release of Revilla’s close friend and co-accused, Jinggoy Estrada, after the latter posted P1.33-M bail.