MANILA — The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the motion filed by suspended Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. seeking to order the inhibition of SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio from the hearing of the plunder cases against him.
In a resolution released on Monday and signed by Clerk of Court of the en banc Atty. Enriqueta E. Vidal, the SC denied the motion for inhibition filed by Revilla.
The suspended senator is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City after he was charged with plunder in connection with the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The motion for inhibition was filed by Revilla against Carpio since he is a cousin of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
Morales filed the plunder cases against Revilla before the Sandiganbayan for supposedly being in cohort with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Napoles is the alleged “brains” behind the Php10-billion pork barrel and the Php900-million Malampaya Fund scams.
The SC found no legal basis to grant the motion for inhibition against Carpio.
“The Court Resolved to Deny the motion for the inhibition of Justice Carpio,” the SC resolution said.
Meanwhile, SC Associate Justice Martin S. Villarama Jr. voluntarily inhibited himself from handling the cases of Revilla.
Revilla also sought the inhibition of Villarama from handling the cases since her wife, Maria Luisa Dizon-Villarama, now works as a consultant in the Office of Ombudsman Morales.
“Justice Villarama Jr. volunteered to inhibit from these cases,” the resolution said.
Revilla earlier filed his petition for certiorari before the SC after the Ombudsman rejected his motion to recall its joint order finding probable cause to indict him and several others for the crime of plunder.
He urged the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the Ombudsman’s May 15, 2014 ruling which also dismissed his motion to re-conduct a preliminary investigation by a new special panel of investigators of the pork barrel fund scam.
Revilla argued that his right to due process was denied.
He said that suspicions have been raised because of the Ombudsman’s failure to provide him copies of the same, adding that these documents may contain allegations that are material and favorable to his defense before the Ombudsman.