Revilla appeals Sandiganbayan denial of plea for leave of court

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2017 09:12 PM

MANILA - The camp of former Sen. Bong Revilla has asked the Sandiganbayan 1st Division to reconsider its denial of his motion for leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence in his plunder case in connection with the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.

On Dec. 7, the anti-graft court had denied the motion of Revilla, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and Revilla’s former staff member Richard Cambe, in effect compelling them to submit their own evidence to prove their innocence in the case.

Revilla's legal team, led by Estelito Mendoza, said prosecution evidence "have instead confirmed the gross and patent inadequacy of the evidence that Revilla has committed all the elements of plunder as provided by RA No. 7080 (Plunder Law) and alleged in the Information, confirming the insufficiency of the evidence and the appropriateness of the filing of a demurrer to evidence.” 

With the supposedly insufficient evidence against him, Revilla is praying that the court reverses its decision and allow him to file a demurrer to evidence “pursuant to Section 23 Rule 119 of the Rules of Court.”

The motion filed by the three accused had sought to deviate from normal court procedure, such as the presentation of defense evidence. The plea would have also enabled them to file a demurrer to evidence and prompt the dismissal of the charges.
 
Revilla, Napoles, and Cambe are detained for allegedly diverting P224 million pesos of the then lawmaker's PDAF to bogus non-government organizations.

The court gave the prosecution until Monday to comment on the appeal.