Sandigan raffles off plunder cases vs Napoles, 3 senators

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Friday, June 13, 2014


MANILA (Updated) -- Three separate divisions of Sandiganbayan will handle the plunder and graft cases against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. and their co-accused.

A raffle was held at 11 a.m. Friday.

Anti-graft court Justice Efren dela Cruz's first division will handle Revilla's 17 cases, including graft; Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang's third division will handle Enrile's 16 cases; and Justice Rolando Jurado's fifth division will handle Estrada's 12 cases.

Both dela Cruz and Tang were appointees of President Benigno Aquino III while Jurado was appointed during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Dela Cruz handles the plunder case of Arroyo in connection with her alleged involvement in the malversation of the P366-million confidential and intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

He was reportedly a member of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church headed by evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, whose son Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Secretary General Joel Villanueva, is also being included in the list of businesswoman Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

The three senators allegedly pocketed kickbacks by channeling their PDAF to the bogus non-government organizations of Napoles.

Napoles, who is detained at a police camp in Laguna for serious illegal detention, is co-accused for all cases against the three senators.

Meanwhile, the camp of Enrile immediately filed motions to dismissed the charges against him as well as motion to post bail.

"The entirety of the evidence on record against Enrile was simply underwhelming and clearly inadequate unworthy of publicized commentaries that the evidence supposedly was, as against Enrile and the other legislators involved, 'airtight' consisting of truckloads and slam dunk evidences," Enrile said in his motion.

"There was never any incriminatory document that can be traced to him (Enrile). In fact, the so-called whistleblowers, most notably Benhur Luy, all testified that they have never even met Enrile in their offices or elsewhere, and that they do not have no personal knowledge of any transaction with him," added in the motion.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed the plunder charges against the three senators and other co-accused in the pork barrel scam last week after it junked the motions for reconsideration of the accused.

Morales earlier asked the Supreme Court to create at least two special divisions that will exclusively handle the cases related to the scam.

On Wednesday, the SC directed Sandiganbayan to conduct the raffle, as it required the anti-graft court and all parties to the cases to comment within three days on the request of Morales. (Sunnex)

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