Court to issue verdict on pork barrel plunder case vs. Bong Revilla on December 7

By AC Nicholls, CNN Philippines

Guilty or not?

Former Senator Bong Revilla will get the judgment from the Sandiganbayan in a month on a plunder case filed against him over an alleged pork barrel scam.

In an order dated November 5, the Sandiganbayan First Division set the promulgation of the decision of the case on December 7 at 8:30 a.m.

“We are both anxious and excited at the same time. After four years and six months, we are finally here,” Revilla’s wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado said in a text message to CNN Philippines.

This comes two months after state prosecutors and Revilla’s legal team submitted their memoranda last September 9. A memorandum is a document laying out final arguments of both parties submitted to the court after the trial is concluded.

According to court rules, the First Division has 90 days from the submission of the memoranda, or until December 8 in this case, to issue a decision.

Revilla is running for a Senate seat next year. His wife filed his certificate of candidacy for him on October 17.

“We ask for continuous prayers for an acquittal. Ipagdasal po natin na mangibabaw ang katotohanan at katarungan,” Mercado said.

Revilla’s case

Revilla has been facing plunder and graft charges since Jun 2014 for allegedly conspiring with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in funneling millions of pesos in pork barrel to her fake nongovernmental organizations in exchange for kickbacks.

This led to his surrender and detention at in Camp Crame.

His cases were filed along with those against former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, both also running for the Senate next year. Both are out on bail.

Other corruption cases against former and current lawmakers relating to the alleged fraud are pending at the Sandiganbayan.

The decision on Revilla’s plunder case will be the first to come out among pork barrel scam cases filed by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

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