Will ask court to allow house arrest
MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - The First Division of the Sandiganbayan has drafted the arrest warrants of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and others involved in the alleged plunder of pork barrel funds.
This was a result of the division’s resolution on Thursday afternoon finding probable cause in the plunder and graft raps filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against Revilla, Janet Lim Napoles, political adviser Richard Cambe, et al.
The finding of probable cause is basis for the issuance of warrants of arrest.
However, the warrants of arrest had not yet been signed when the anti-graft court's office closed at 4:30 p.m., said Sandiganbayan Clerk of Court Estella Teresita Rosete
The earliest that Revilla can be served the warrant will be tomorrow, Friday, at 8 a.m.
The first division, headed by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz and Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos, also found probable cause against the following:
Ma. Ninez Guañizo,
Maria Julie Villaralvo-Johnson,
Ronald John Lim,
John Raymond de Asis,
Consuelo Lilian Espiritu,
Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, and
Rosete said the Revilla camp called her around 3:15 p.m. today, saying the senator will voluntarily surrender this afternoon.
Without a warrant, however, Revilla has one more night to be with his family.
Once the warrant is served tomorrow, the Sandiganbayan sheriff will formally turn over Revilla to the Philippine National Police or the NBI.
If the PNP takes over from the sheriff, he may be detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, which has allegedly been refurbished for the accused in the pork scam. If the NBI takes over, he will likely be detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila.
In a separate interview with ANC, lawyer Joel Bodegon said Revilla will have to spend “more nights” in jail if the anti-graft court does not act on their petition for bail.
The petition will be filed on Friday morning. “I don’t think we have time to file today,” Bodegon said.
He said a motion for house arrest will also be filed.
The court dismissed this morning Revilla’s motion to suspend proceedings sans a halt order from the Supreme Court. – with reports from Robert Mano, dzMM