MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) upheld the finding of probable cause in the P224.5-million plunder case against detained former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. in connection with the “pork barrel” scam, according to well-placed ABS-CBN News sources.
Voting 13-1, with one inhibition, the high court junked on Tuesday Revilla’s petition that sought a reversal of the finding of probable cause against him, which, essentially, is tantamount to seeking an acquittal on the charges.
Revilla’s trial before the Sandiganbayan First Division will proceed, with the junking of his plea.
Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., the ponente of the draft decision, is the lone dissent. He lost in the voting. Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case in his capacity as former Solicitor General.
Revilla was accused of allegedly amassing P224.5-million in kickbacks from ghost projects under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). He allegedly allocated millions of his PDAF to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to alleged “pork barrel” brains Janet Lim Napoles.