Court allows Revilla to travel abroad after plunder acquittal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2018 04:57 PM

Former Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is acquitted by the Sandiganbayan on charges of plunder in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam case. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan allowed Friday former Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. to travel abroad again after it cleared the former lawmaker of plunder.

The anti-graft court's first division lifted the hold departure order issued against the actor-turned-politician but noted that Revilla cannot be released from detention yet.

This is because Revilla still needs to post bail for his pending graft cases in relation to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam case. 

"Unless and until the bond is posted in the said cases, he will not be released," the court said in a decision Friday.

The former action star has been detained at the Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since 2014.

Revilla on Friday was cleared of plunder charges in connection to accusations that he embezzled P224 million in discretionary funds while he was still a senator.

Two of his co-accused, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and Revilla's former chief-of-staff Richard Cambe, however, were found guilty of plunder by the anti-graft court over the P10-billion scam.

The court also ordered that Cambe be committed to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City while Napoles be transferred to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City from a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

Revilla, along with former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, were accused of receiving kickbacks from pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles in exchange for funneling part of their discretionary funds to bogus non-government organizations. 

Revilla is seeking to return to the Senate in next year's midterm elections along with Estrada and Enrile.

 

-with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News