The Sandiganbayan 1st Division has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the camp of former Sen. Bong Revilla, his former staff lawyer Richard Cambe and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, on the denial of their motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence.
The anti-graft court however still gave Revilla, Cambe and Napoles the option to proceed with the filing of a demurrer to evidence.
With a demurrer to evidence filed by an accused, the court may either dismiss the case on the ground of insufficiency of prosecution evidence or they may be compelled to present their own evidence.
“At any rate, the Court reiterates that if the accused so choose, they may file a demurrer to evidence without leave of court, subject to the limitation and consequence provided in Section 23, Rule 119 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure,” the court said in a resolution penned by 1st Division Chair Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Geraldine Faith Econg and Reynaldo Cruz.
The court noted that Revilla et al did not present any new arguments in their appeal for a reversal of the denial of the motion for leave.
On December 7, the anti-graft court denied the motion of Revilla, Napoles and Cambe which in effect compelled them to submit their own evidence to prove their innocence in their plunder case in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
“The arguments set forth by the accused-movants in their separate motions for reconsideration and those made in open court are a mere reiteration and rehash of those contained in their motions for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence and those already advanced by them during the oral argument on the said motions on December 7, 2017,” the court said.
Revilla and Cambe, who were recently granted a 10-hour Christmas pass last December 24, remain in detention inside Camp Crame while Napoles is detained in Camp Bagong Diwa.