MANILA — The anti-graft court on Thursday denied with finality the prosecution’s motion for reconsideration seeking the transfer of Senator Ramon “Bong Revilla Jr. and his former aide Richard Cambe to an ordinary jail facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
For lack of merit, Sandiganbayan First Division chaired by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz denied with finality the request of prosecutors to transfer Revilla to ordinary jail.
In his resolution, dela Cruz said Revilla will be staying at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame while his plunder and graft cases are still pending.
“The prosecution’s motion for reconsideration is bereft of merit. The Court finds no cogent reasons to justify a reversal of the challenged resolution,” the First Division said in its nine-page resolution issued Thursday.
The court did not give merit on the prosecution’s argument that the officials of the PNP Custodial Center are giving Revilla special privileges.
The prosecution alleged that last February 14, Revilla was allowed by Custodial Center officials to go to the PNP General Hospital, also located in Camp Crame, to attend the 91st birthday party of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who is on hospital arrest in connection with the same alleged scam.
Revilla had repeatedly denied the allegation, though he admitted that he was rushed to the PNP GH that day due to hypertension.
However, the Sandiganbayan said it “does not consider sufficient the reported unauthorized visit of accused Revilla to the hospital room of Senator Enrile on February 14, 2015 to justify his transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa.”
“Afterall, the court in its April 15, 2015 resolution has already admonished all the concerned PNP officers and personnel in charge with the detention of accused Revilla to observe strictly the court’s June 20, 2014 order not to allow the accused to be moved, removed or relocate until further orders from the Court,” the First Division added.
In its April 15 resolution, the First Division warned the PNP Custodial Center and PNPGH officers that repetition of a similar incident in the future “will be dealt with more severely.”
“Wherefore, in light of the foregoing, the prosecution’s motion for reconsideration dated September 10, 2014, is hereby DENIED for lack of merit,” the First Division said.
Revilla is facing one count of plunder and 16 counts of graft for allegedly pocketing Php224.5 million worth of kickbacks by allocating portions of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), commonly known as pork barrel, from 2006 to 2010 to the fake foundations allegedly owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the scam’s alleged mastermind.