Sen. Bong Revilla Acquitted by Sandiganbayan; Convicts Janet Lim Napoles of Plunder

Former Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is finally a free man once again after the Sandiganbayan acquitted the senator on Friday on his plunder charges. His co-accused, alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and Revilla's staff Richard Cambe, were convicted by the First Division of the Anti-Graft Court.


The decision against Sen. Bong Revilla comes four and a half yars after the case was filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2014, and is the first to resolved among dozens of cases involving Revilla's PDAF.



The senator who was detained for the past few years is seeking a Senate seat in 2019, was accused of amassing P224.5 million-worth of kickbacks from Janet Lim Napoles when he was a senator.

The charges against Revilla was allegedly in exchange for endorsing her five bogus non-government organizations as the beneficiaries of his PDAF, also known as pork barrel or funds a lawmaker can spend for projects.

There's an estimated in government funds were allegedly lost to the scam, with money going into the pockets of Janet Lim Napoles and several lawmakers.

Sen. Bong Revilla is the very first lawmaker to be acquitted by the Sandiganbayan while his co-accused of plunder case, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile are still waiting for the decision of the Sandiganbayan but they were out on bail granted to them.



During the administrationa of former Pres. Noynoy Aquino, in September 2013, the DOJ through the NBI filed plunder, graft and corrupt practices, malversation, and bribery charges against Napoles, then-Senators Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada, and at least 32 other people for their involvement in the scam.

After finding probable cause to indict them, the Ombudsman filed separate plunder charges against the three former lawmakers in June 2014, with the Sandiganbayan ordering their arrest later that month. This led to Revilla's surrender and detention at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

The plunder trial against Sen. Bong Revilla began in June 2017 or a little over three years after the filing of the case. The trial took a major turn in June 2018 after a whistleblower in the pork barrel scam controversy backtracked on her 2016 testimony against Revilla.

Source: CNN Philippines / PNA

Sen. Bong Revilla Acquitted by Sandiganbayan; Convicts Janet Lim Napoles of Plunder Sen. Bong Revilla Acquitted by Sandiganbayan; Convicts Janet Lim Napoles of Plunder Reviewed by Phil Newsome on December 07, 2018 Rating: 5
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