Revilla fails in bid to junk plunder case

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - After several postponements, the trial of the plunder case against former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will start next month as the Sandiganbayan turned down his motion to quash the case.

In a short hearing yesterday morning, First Division chairman Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz announced in open court the denial of Revilla’s motion to quash filed by the former senator’s legal counsels earlier this month.

?The court set the start of the trial proper on March 30.

Yesterday marked the third time that the scheduled first day of the trial was deferred as Revilla’s lawyer, former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza, manifested that they will file a motion for reconsideration on the denial of their motion to quash.

The court gave Revilla’s camp 15 days or until March 10 to file the appeal. The court also set two more dates –March 2 and March 9 – for preliminary conferences to give the prosecution and the defense more time to thresh out issues on the presentation of witness and documentary exhibits.

The Office of the Ombudsman, which filed the plunder case in June 2014, alleged that Revilla received P224.5 million in kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, in exchange for endorsing her non-government organizations as the beneficiaries of his pork barrel.               

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