MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 1st Division has suspended the signing of the pre-trial order which in effect caused the delay of the start of the trial proper on the graft cases of former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.
Revilla is accused of 16 counts of graft for the supposed misuse of P517 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund, in connivance with other accused individuals such as businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
After more than two hours of waiting for the pre-trial order, which is a listing of witnesses, evidence, among others, both the prosecution and the defense refused to affix their signatures on the document.
1st Division Chairperson Efren Dela Cruz decided to re-set the signing of the pre-trial order to January 18 after both parties have commented on the accuracy of the contents of the document.
The start of the graft trial is also re-set to January 25.
Revilla refused to be interviewed after his hearing, supposedly in accordance with the orders of his police escorts.
Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado accompanied her husband during the first few hours of the hearing.