Revilla graft trial reset

Bong Revilla

THE Sandiganbayan First Division yesterday moved to March 4 the scheduled graft trial in connection with the pork barrel scam of former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

The anti-graft division postponed Revilla’s hearing pending receipt of a formal authority from the Supreme Court to conduct the proceedings on the Sandiganbayan premises.

Revilla, who is running to regain his Senate seat in the May elections under Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), was acquitted of plunder after the prosecution failed to prove he pocketed public funds amounting to P224.5 million.

However, Revilla is still facing 16 counts of graft in connection with the transactions done with Napoles’ non-government organizations when he was a sitting senator.

Revilla’s camp was also asked by the anti-graft court division to comment on the prosecution’s motion that he owes the government millions of pesos due to his dismissed plunder case.

The prosecution believes Revilla is allegedly still liable, along with plunder convicts businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and lawyer Richard Cambe, to return to the government some P124.5-million.

The prosecution said the Sandiganbayan ruling purportedly did not specify Revilla if free of any civil liability after he was acquitted from plunder case last December.

Revilla’s camp stressed that the former senator is no longer liable to return the amount after he was acquitted of plunder.