Ombudsman rejects Revilla plea to suspend probe
MANILA, Philippines - The Ombudsman denied Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla's motion to suspend an ongoing probe into a plunder complaint filed against him by the justice department.
In a January 28 decision that was released on Thursday, January 30, the Ombudsman said that "no prejudicial question exists to warrant the suspension of the preliminary investigation."
Revilla is being investigated for charges he pocketed millions from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that he received as a senator. Also included in the plunder complaints filed with the Ombudsman in September 2013 are Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, as well as alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and 34 others.
In the same order, the Ombudsman also dismissed Revilla's plunder complaint against the 3 witnesses in the alleged PDAF scam led by whistleblower Benhur Luy. The 3 have turned state witnesses and are now covered by the government's Witness Protection Program, the Ombudsman explained.
Earlier, Revilla argued in a petition before the Ombudsman that a case he filed before a Cavite court against Luy and other whistleblowers should prompt the Ombudsman to temporarily suspend its investigation on him.
But the Ombudsman described the civil case as "an afterthought and a ploy to delay the criminal proceedings" against the senator.
In a recent privilege speech, Revilla lambasted the Aquino government for using the plunder accusations to hurt his political future. Revilla is being groomed by his party, the Lakas-CMD, as its standard bearer in the 2016 presidential polls. - Rappler.com