Bank execs testify against Revilla in plunder trial

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2017 08:43 PM | Updated as of Sep 25 2017 01:21 PM

MANILA - Prosecutors on Tuesday presented bank executives at the continuation of the plunder trial of former Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. at the Sandiganbayan 1st Division in connection with his alleged role in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Chinatrust Philippines Commercial Bank executives Teresa Mendoza and Noel Flores testified on the accounts of Revilla and wife Lani Mercado.

The defense continued to oppose their testimonies, saying they constituted a violation of the Bank Secrecy Law.

Revilla also reiterated that amounts found in the bank accounts being presented by the prosecution were from his legitimate income as an actor.

“Lahat po iyon legal na kinita ko, bata pa lang ako nag-aartista na ako,” said Revilla, a long-time movie actor.

At least two more witnesses are left to testify before the prosecution rests its case.

The prosecution told Special Prosecutor Director Joefferson Toribio that they can finish the presentation of witnesses within the month.

The court had earlier estimated that the trial, which began in June, may last from one to two years based on the number of witnesses to be presented by the two sides.

Toribio, however, clarified in a statement that because of stipulations between their side and the defense, the proceedings were cut short.

Asked to comment after the trial, Revilla said he needs more prayers from his supporters.

“Basta hihilingin ko lang sa ating mga kababayan na konting dasal pa, may awa ang Diyos at baka sakali,” Revilla said.

Revilla's friends and supporters, who almost filled the courtroom, were also present during the hearing, including entertainment columnist Lolit Solis, character actor King Gutierrez, as well as members of a group of tricycle drivers and operators from the former senator's native Bacoor, Cavite.

Revilla is charged with plunder and 16 counts of graft before the anti-graft court for allegedly pocketing P224.5 million worth of kickbacks from ghost projects purportedly funded by his PDAF from 2006 to 2010.

His PDAF allocations were allegedly funneled to bogus foundations identified with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged scam mastermind.