MANILA — The Sandiganbayan on Tuesday issued a hold departure order (HDO) against Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla and several other co-accused in the plunder and graft charges for the alleged malversation of the multi-billion pesos Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
In the resolution issued on Tuesday morning, the Sandiganbayan First Division chaired by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz, and Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos restrained Revilla and 31 other co-respondents in the multi-billion peso ‘Pork Barrel” scam from leaving the country.
The lawmaker allegedly pocketed Php242-million in kickbacks after he channelled hundreds of millions of pesos of his PDAF allocations to fake NGOs created and controlled by businesswoman and suspected ‘Pork Barrel’ scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Aside from Revilla, among those included in the hold departure list were lawyer Richard Cambe, Napoles, Ofelia Ordoñez, Francisco Figura, Ma. Ninez Guañizo, Chita Jalandoni, Maria Julie Villaralvo-Johnson, Gregoria Buenaventura, Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Romulo Relevo, Ronald John Lim, Alan Javellana, Gondelina Mata, John Raymond de Asis, Sophia Cruz, Marivic Jover, Antonio Ortiz, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal, and Eulogio Rodriguez.
The Anti-Graft court has ordered the Bureau of Immigration and Deporation to prevent those metioned in the list from leaving the country.
On Monday, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Divisioin also issued a similar order against Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and 13 others in connection with the plunder and graft charges for their alleged involvement and participation in the ‘Pork Barrel’ controversy.
Meanwhile, the camp of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday filed supplemental motion to stop the issuance of an arrest warrant against him, insisting that the case should be dismissed because the information against him is void.
“Being void for non-compliance with the requirement of the Constitution that in all criminal prosecution, the accused ‘be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him,’ no warrant of arrest may be issued,” Enrile’s motion read.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to issue a hold departure order against Enrile.