Revilla aide backs special courts for 'pork scam' trials

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2014 11:36 AM | Updated as of Jun 18 2014 10:43 PM


MANILA - The chief political staff of embattled Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. is urging the Supreme Court (SC) to order the creation of three special divisions of the Sandiganbayan to hear the plunder and graft cases in connection with the "pork barrel" scam.

In a two-page comment submitted to the high court on July 12, Atty. Richard Cambe, who, along with Revilla, is charged in connection with the scam, pointed out that these special divisions shall each hear "one group of alleged conspirators (e.g., one special division to hear only the cases against Sen. Revilla, Jr. and his alleged conspirators)."

Cambe also urged the high court to order "a marathon or daily hearing on the consolidated cases, and further proposes to extend trial hours after 5:00 pm."

He also proposed to limit the number of witnesses and disallow postponements for a speedy trial.

For its part, the Sandiganbayan, in its separate comment, rejected the proposal for the creation of special divisions by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Sandiganbayan said this is in the interest of fair play to those accused in the "pork barrel" scam cases, as well as other personalities with pending cases before the anti-graft court.

The Sandiganbayan also said such a move would affect the dispensation of justice in other equally important cases before its regular divisions.

The high court has yet to rule on the Ombudsman's plea.