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.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division after investigating for a long time has found probable cause to continue the case of dismissed-Makati mayor Junjun Binay for graft and falsification of public documents over the allegedly overpriced construction of the P2.2 billion Makati car park building.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Makati Building 2 case now has probable cause against Junjun Binay after a long search.
In a resolution released on April 18, the anti-graft court said that there was probable cause to try Binay for falsification and graft raps because he was then the head of procuring entity called HOPE who was responsible for evaluating the documents by the Bids and Awards Committee.
Falsified in Newspaper?
The court said there was a basis to proceed with the trial of Binay’s six counts of falsification of public documents. It noted that the invitation to apply for eligibility and to bid (IAETB) was allegedly falsified in the Balita newspaper by superimposing on a Sudoku game printed in a similar newspaper issue.
“Instead (of the IAETB), a Sudoku Loco game is printed in the same location where the IAETB appears in the accused’s copy. After the said examination, the Court agrees with the finding of the Ombudsman that the purported IAETB seems to have been merely superimposed in the copy of the said newspaper,” the court said in the statement.
Binay’s defense was rejected saying that a newspaper is a private document and he should not be liable for falsification. The court sums up that the documents only showed that Binay and his co-accused have probably committed the falsification and graft charges. This can probably lead to the prima facie records of the case that can prove that the bidding for the Makati car park building was rigged. Most of the accused including Binay have posted bail. There’s no need for the court to issue warrants for arrest.