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Revilla graft trial moved to 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The start of former senator Ramon Revilla Jr.’s trial for graft in connection with his alleged misuse of his pork barrel has been moved to next year.

The Sandiganbayan’s First Division reset the trial to Jan. 11, 2018 as Revilla and his co-accused have yet to submit their respective pre-trial briefs, which must contain the list of witnesses and documentary exhibits that they intend to present during the trial proper.

The Office of the Ombudsman’s prosecution team, as well as Revilla and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles have submitted their respective pre-trial briefs for the cases. 

However, majority of the 30 other respondents, including former officials of the Department of Budget and Management and the abolished state firms Technology Resource Center, National Livelihood Development Corp. and National Agribusiness Corp. have yet to submit their respective briefs.

Division chairman Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz gave the concerned respondents 10 days, starting from yesterday, to submit their pre-trial briefs. After which, the court said it will furnish the parties a pre-trial order (PTO) tentatively on Nov. 9.

The PTO, which shall contain the hearing dates and list of witnesses and evidence to be presented, will serve as guide from the court for the orderly conduct of the trial.

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Revilla is facing 16 counts of graft over alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel from 2006 to 2010.

Revilla and Napoles are also facing a plunder case in connection with the alleged PDAF misuse.       

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