MANILA (UPDATE) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed the ruling upholding finding of probable cause in Bong Revilla in his plunder case in connection with the pork barrel scam.
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 of the charges.
Revilla’s trial before the Sandiganbayan First Division will proceed, with the junking of his plea.
"Clearly, based on the foregoing disquisitions, the standard of probable cause was adequately hurdled by the prosecution in this case. As such, no grave abuse of discretion was committed by the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan in the proceedings a quo," the court said.
The voting also covers the petitions of the other accused in the case, namely Revilla's chief of staff Richard Cambe, alleged pork barrel scam player Janet Lim Napoles, Napoles' employees Ronald John Lim and John Raymund De Asis, and former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos.
Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., the ponente of the draft decision, is the lone dissent.
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.