Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SC asks Ombudsman to comment on Bong Revilla’s plea to stop hearings

Apr 4, 2018 @ 16:30

By: James Hernandez

The Supreme Court has asked the Office of the Ombudsman for comment over the petition of detained former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. seeking to stop the proceedings over the his pork barrel scam case.

“The court resolved, without giving due course to the petition, to required the respondents to comment thereon within 10 days from notice hereof,” read the SC notice.

The lawyers of Revilla have already informed the Sandiganbayan 1st Division about the action made by the SC.

Revilla has been prodding the SC to finally act on his petition he filed on January 15 seeking to stop the proceedings at the Sandiganbayan and free him from detention.

He also asked the SC to act by way of “interim measures” to set his petition for oral arguments and, in the meantime, issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and order his release while the high tribunal has yet to resolve his petition.

The former lawmaker reminded the high tribunal he has been in detention since June 20, 2014 and that the Sandiganbayan 1st Division has allowed him to wait for the SC TRO by postponing a number of his trial dates for his plunder case.

“Given these injudicious circumstances, petitioner was constrained to give up several trial dates out of the sixty dates allowed by the Sandiganbayan for him to present evidence and is already in peril losing all the dates allowed for his defense,” read his urgent motion.

It is supposed to be the turn of defense to present evidence since the prosecution has already finished presenting their evidence.

Revilla filed the petition before the SC after the Sandiganbayan turned down his motion to file a demurrer to evidence which sought to dismiss the plunder case due to weak evidence presented by the prosecution during the trial.

He told the SC “the Sandiganbayan proceeded with the trial of the case, compelling petitioner to present evidence for his defense specifically on the 5,134 pieces of evidence that the Sandiganbayan has admitted in its Order of November 9, 2017, without a clear identification of the particular ‘acts’ that are ‘overt’ and ‘criminal’ through which petitioner allegedly acquired ill-gotten wealth.”

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