JULY 24, 2018 – The Supreme Court (SC) has denied former senator Bong Revilla and alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles’ motion for bail over the P225 million Priority Development Assistant Fund (PDAF) plunder case.
“The Sandiganbayan held that the prosecution duly established with strong evidence that Revilla, Cambe, and Napoles in conspiracy with one another, committed the offense of plunder and, thus, are not entitled to the constitutional right to bail,” the SC said.
The cases stemmed from a case filed on June 5, 2014 charging the three, among others, with plunder under Republic Act 7080 (as amended), involving the amount of P224,512,000.
The SC also junked petitions to transfer Revilla and Napoles out of the PNP Custodial Center to a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility, which was earlier denied by Sandiganbayan.
“On this point, the Court noted that the Sandiganbayan did not gravely abuse its discretion as the PNP Custodial Center is considered a jail and there is nothing in the law or rules that provide that the accused must be confined in a BJMP facility,” the SC said.
In the same ruling, the SC also affirmed Sandiganbayan’s order to freeze Revilla’s P224 million assets.
“The Court found that the preliminary attachment issued by the Sandiganbayan should be upheld as all the requisites for the issuance have been complied with. The writ may issue where there is an allegation of misappropriation of public funds, which is one of the predicate acts for Plunder, of which Revilla is charged.” the SC said.
Revilla and former senator Jinggoy Estrada were accused of pouring millions of pesos of the pork barrel to non-government organizations owned or controlled by Napoles in exchange for huge kickbacks.
But after 3 years in jail, Estrada has been granted release on bail for his temporary liberty.
In August 2015, the SC granted Juan Ponce Enrile’s petition for bail in the same plunder case, citing his advanced age and poor health.
Revilla and Napoles had previously filed several petitions before the SC seeking to their indictment in the PDAF cases, but all were dismissed by the high court.