The Sandiganbayan’s First Division did not push through today’s plunder trial – instead, it is set for June 1. It’s the 6th schedule after 5 postponements since January. This is apparently to give way to the additional marking of voluminous evidence related to Revilla’s pork barrel projects. It allegedly allowed him to pocket P224.5 million in kickbacks.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Bong Revilla’s hearing is again postponed to June 1, 2017
Lead prosecutor Joefferson Toribio defended the delay in the marking. He said that each SARO has 4 thick folders of evidence. Revilla’s plunder case is connected to 16 SAROs all in all. So, the enormous amount of evidence can use up a lot of time when scrutinized thoroughly.
Disagreement on Unclear Copies
Toribio also complained that Revilla’s lawyers are also delaying the trial. Revilla’s chief of staff, Richard Cambe moved to withdraw some documents for being illegible. Toribio said that while producing clearer copies, Revilla’s lawyers refused to agree that the clearer copies and the original illegible copies are identical.
Concerned with Detained Revilla?
First Division Chair Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz did not accept Toribio’s reasons because it was the Revilla camp’s prerogative to be thorough with the documents. Dela Cruz told Revilla’s lawyers: “He’s just concerned for your client who is detained,” which lightened up the mood in the court – but certainly, Revilla is for sure still frustrated with longer time in jail.
The prosecution is due to present 48 witnesses who would prove that the projects supposed to be funded by Revilla’s pork barrel are non-existent. Revilla’s new lawyer, Estelito Mendoza, contested the inclusion of such testimonies which Revilla’s previous lawyers had allowed. But Dela Cruz mentioned that these testimonies can’t be removed just because a new lawyer wants to reorganize things.