MANILA — Former businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles was happy when she received the news that she was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan 1st Division of 16 graft cases in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Funds of Sen. Bong Revilla.
Lawyer Rony Garay told the media on Tuesday that he visited Napoles at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) last Monday to deliver to his client the news.
"Binisita ko siya kahapon sa CIW and masaya naman siya, this is her first acquittal before the Sandiganbayan," Garay said.
(I visited her yesterday at the CIW and she was happy, this is her first acquittal before the Sandiganbayan.)
Garay attended the ongoing trial of another set of PDAF cases, 15 graft cases involving the PDAF of former senator and now Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.
Garay said the acquittal of Napoles in the Revilla graft cases might be used in the ongoing appeal before the Supreme Court of Napoles's conviction in the Revilla plunder case.
Napoles's acquittal "on 16 counts of violation of anti-graft and corrupt practices act, these charges are also the predicate crime of the plunder case which is now on appeal before the Supreme Court," Garay said.
"So pareho ang facts niyan, pareho ang testimonies, pareho ang evidence. So we do not want to speculate on the outcome of our appeal before the Supreme Court, but definitely because on the rule on double jeopardy siguro, baka pwede namin magamit," the lawyer added.
(So the facts are the same, the testimonies are the same, the evidence is the same. We do not want to speculate on the outcome of our appeal before the Supreme Court but definitely because on the rule on double jeopardy maybe, maybe we can use it.)