Revilla, 2 others appeal Ombud decision on plunder case

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Monday, April 7, 2014

SENATOR Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., along with socialite Ruby Tuason and lawyer Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, on Monday asked the Office of the Ombudsman to reconsider its decision to file plunder charges against him over the alleged multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

The three respondents, through their legal counsels, submitted their respective motions for reconsideration, less than a week after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said government investigators found sufficient basis to indict them before the Sandiganbayan, an anti-graft court.

The camps of Revilla, Tuason and Reyes have insisted "their constitutional right to due" process in filing their appeal.

Tuason's lawyer, Dennis Manalo, meanwhile filed a motion asking the Ombudsman to resolve his client's appeal to be admitted in the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan earlier said that before immunity can be granted, criminal liability must first be determined since in the case of Tuason, the application for immunity is yet to be decided upon.

Reyes, a former chief of staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, filed her motion for reconsideration as a respondent in the plunder and graft cases but also did not give media a copy of the pleading that was submitted to the Records Division.

Earlier, the Ombudsman has recommended the filing of plunder and graft cases against Senators Revilla, Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada and detained businesswoman Janet Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam architect.

The three lawmakers were indicted for allegedly channeling hundreds of millions of pesos in their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles.

Cases have also been recommended against officials of several implementing agencies, including the National Agri-Business Corporation (Nabcor). Dennis Cunanan, TRC director general on-leave, is applying to become a state witness.

The three senators allegedly received kickbacks amounting to millions of pesos through their illegal transactions with Napoles. (Sunnex)

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