MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman has filed a motion before the Sandiganbayan asking it to suspend Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who are now facing graft and plunder charges before the anti-graft court.
“To prevent the accused from committing further acts of malfeasance, tamper with documentary evidence and intimidate or influence witnesses in the case, it is necessary that the accused be suspended from the office while the case is pending in court,” the motions filed separately said.
Citing the Section 5 of Republic Act 7080, which defines the crime of plunder and mandates the suspension and loss of benefits of public officers pending litigation for plunder, the prosecutors proceeded with the suspension request.
If proven guilty, the same provision also provides that all public officials shall “lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law.”
“But if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and other benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime, administrative proceedings have been filed against him,” the section adds.
The two senators are facing a non-bailable offense plunder and several counts of graft charges for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
Several other respondents including the alleged pork scam mastermind, Janet Lim-Napoles were also charged before the anti-graft court.
Revilla’s staff Richard Cambe, ranked as Director 3 in the senate’s roster was also asked to be suspended.
With reports from Philippine Star