THE Supreme Court (SC) has denied with finality the petition filed by detained former senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla seeking to reverse the Office of the Ombudsman's resolution that indicted him for plunder and graft in connection with the misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) when he was senator.
On Tuesday, the SC upheld its December 6 decision affirming the Ombudsman's finding of a probable cause in the P224.5-million worth plunder complaints filed against the then-senator.
The SC reiterated that the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it issued joint resolution dated March 28, 2014 and the Joint Order dated June 4, 2016 that found probable cause to charge Revilla and to put him on trial, along with several others.
The SC also dismissed with finality the petitions filed by Richard Cambe, Revilla's chief of staff alleged of processing the utilization of his PDAF; Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged PDAF scam mastermind; Ronald John Lim, John Raymund De Asis and Napoles' staff employees who assisted her in processing the government officials' PDAF.
The SC, however, did not cite the reason why the petitions were dismissed.
Voting 13-1-1, the SC on December 6 affirmed the Ombudsman's finding of a probable cause to charge Revilla and the Sandiganbayan's decision to put him on trial.
"The Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan did not err in finding probable cause against all the petitioners. Ther findings are fully supported by the records of this case and no semblance of misapprehension taints the same," the SC said.
Revilla is facing cases before the Sandiganbayan for authorizing the disbursement of his PDAF through his endorsement of fake non-governmental organizations controlled by Napoles and for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the released funds.
The trial of his plunder case before the anti-graft court will proceed with the SC's dismissal of his petition for certiorari.
The author of draft decision, Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., dissented in the voting while Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza in his capacity as former Solicitor General, took no part in the decision. (SunStar Philippines)
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