Revilla lawyer to contest evidence in plunder case

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2017 09:49 PM

The lawyers of former Sen. Bong Revilla on Tuesday said they are planning to file a demurrer to evidence for Revilla's acquittal in his plunder case in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. 

Lawyer Estelito Mendoza told the court that they will first file a motion for leave of court in order to file a demurrer to evidence. 

A similar demurrer was filed by the counsel of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in her National Broadband Network-ZTE deal plunder case at the Sandiganbayan, which eventually led to her acquittal by the Supreme Court. 

“Demurrer simply means we will be contesting that the evidence of the prosecution has proven the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt and that therefore if they have failed to do so, we are no longer obliged to present any evidence. Instead, the court will enter a judgment of acquittal so that’s the end of the case,” Mendoza said. 

During the hearing, the prosecution formally told the court that they have finished presenting their evidence against Revilla who supposedly amassed P224 million from the PDAF scam in conspiracy with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles. 

The court gave the prosecution 20 days to file a written compilation of their exhibits, as well as 20 days for the defense to reply. The next step would be the presentation of evidence for the defense, unless they file a demurrer. 

For his part, Revilla said he is hopeful his case would have a favorable resolution. 

“Siyempre nakaka-nerbyos din, ‘di ba, sana nakita ng justices, kumbaga young evidence laban sa akin mahina kaya dasal na lang nang dasal,” Revilla said. 

The Sandiganbayan last month allowed former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to post bail after he cited the case of Arroyo, and the lack of a "main plunderer" in his case.