MANILA - The Sandiganbayan on Thursday ended the plunder trial of former Senator Bong Revilla after the prosecution presented two witnesses, the last to be heard by the 1st Division.
The trial is in connection with Revilla's P224 million plunder case for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Funds.
Both the prosecution and the defense are looking forward to the resolution of the case.
“God is good,” Revilla told reporters after the trial.
“We are confident that we have proven our case against Senator Revilla and the rest of the accused,” Prosecutor Mariter Delfin-Santos said.
Revilla’s case is the first to be decided by the Sandiganbayan among the PDAF scam cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman since June 2014.
Clarita Tanggol and Maria Veronica Alvaran, both from the records section of the Office of the Ombudsman, testified against the testimony of PDAF scam whistleblower Marina Sula who deviated from her earlier statements and apparently sided with Revilla.
Tanggol and Alvaran, who are working as records handlers, were supposed to make statements and undergo cross-examination on the dismissed and withdrawn cases of Sula, as well as cases undergoing preliminary investigation at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Prosecutor Jennifer Agunias said the cases “motivated” Sula to “deviate” from her earlier testimonies as it is “part of human nature to harbor ill-feelings.”
The defense said the cases which were withdrawn and dismissed came before Sula made her testimony last June which favored Revilla.
Revilla's co-accused, Atty. Richard Cambe, who is representing himself in the case, said the supposed motivation of Sula as stated by the prosecution “is highly speculative.”
Delfin-Santos meantime told the court that former prosecutor and now Tarlac judge Joefferson Toribio who was accused by Sula of coaching the whistleblowers, will no longer be presented.
Delfin-Santos said Toribio's testimony was “irrelevant” to the case but at the same time manifested that he was denying Sula's statement.
The defense however said the denial of Sula’s testimony would require Toribio's presentation.
“We cannot accept that, it is only a manifestation,” Dela Cruz told the prosecution.
After the presentation of the last two witnesses, Division Chairperson Efren Dela Cruz ordered the prosecution and the defense to submit their written memoranda within 30 days.
After the submission of the memoranda, Revilla's plunder case is deemed submitted for decision, 4 years after the PDAF scam cases were filed at the Sandiganbayan.