Sandiganbayan urged: Affirm Janet Napoles conviction in plunder raps
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has asked the Sandiganbayan to uphold its earlier decision convicting businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles of plunder over the alleged misuse of around P517 million in pork barrel funds of former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

In an opposition paper filed before the anti-graft court’s Special First Division, the ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor maintained that it has presented sufficient evidence “to establish the guilt of Napoles and Revilla’s former staff member Richard Cambe.

The prosecution team disputed Napoles’ claim in her motion for reconsideration that the acquittal of Revilla consequently extinguished the crime. 

State prosecutors argued that Revilla and Cambe were both charged as main plunderers in the case, thus even if one of them was acquitted, the crime still exists.

The ombudsman also refuted Napoles’ argument that Cambe could not be the main plunderer as the daily disbursement records or ledger submitted by whistle-blower Benhur Luy shows that the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind only received commissions amounting to P13.935 million.

Republic Act 7080 or the Plunder Law states that the main plunderer, who must be a public official, must have amassed ill-gotten wealth of at least P50 million for the crime to be considered as plunder.

In its Dec. 7 ruling, the Sandiganbayan said a total of P124.5 million was illegally amassed by Cambe in conspiracy with Napoles. They were ordered to jointly return the amount to the national treasury.

The anti-graft court had acquitted Revilla of plunder but convicted his co-accused, Cambe and Napoles.

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