MANILA - Former Senator Bong Revilla has insisted that he should not be ordered by the Sandiganbayan 1st Division to pay P124.5 million in civil liability, as he was already acquitted of plunder in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam last year.
His lawyer Estelito Mendoza filed a motion to file comment before the anti-graft court in response to the motion for execution of judgment filed by the prosecution.
“Wherefore, for the foregoing reasons, undersigned counsel respectfully request for a period of 20 days from January 31, 2019 or until February 19, 2019, within which to file comment on the aforementioned motion of the prosecution,” Mendoza said.
Revilla, who is running for senator in the 2019 polls, was acquitted by the anti-graft court while businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and his ex-senate staff Atty. Richard Cambe were found guilty and sentenced to reclusion perpetua.
Government prosecutors had insisted that Revilla, along with Napoles and Cambe, should pay P124.5 million to the national treasury as it was in the dispositive portion of the decision of the court.
In a statement released by Mendoza to the media, he however stressed that Revilla cannot be held liable as he was acquitted by the court after the failure of the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that he received commissions from his PDAF.
“The above simply means what it says: Revilla did not receive, directly or indirectly, rebates, commission, and kickbacks from his PDAF. What, then shall he return?” Mendoza asked.
Mendoza also emphasized that Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code says that “every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.”
“Having held that Revilla is not criminally liable, the above paragraph would not have referred to Revilla but only to the accused who have been criminally liable, namely: Richard A. Cambe and Janet Lim Napoles,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza also pointed out the supposed injustice to Revilla who was detained for more than 4 years which should be addressed, not the issue of civil liability.