MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has denied the motion of government lawyers to move Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr to a regular jail, for lack of merit.
The Sandiganbayan’s First Division, chaired by Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz, released the resolution on Thursday, September 4.
The order also covers Revilla’s co-accused in the pork barrel scam, aide Richard Cambe who is likewise detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
“WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, the prosecution’s Motion to Transfer the Place of Detention of Accused, dated July 8, 2014 is hereby DENIED for lack of merit,” the resolution read.
The court said, however, that the two may be moved to another detention facility “at any time” once state prosecutors provide “cogent and substantive justifications” for it.
“Suffice it to state that at any time, upon a showing of cogent and substantive justifications, the Court may direct their transfer to other detention facilities under any given circumstance,” the court said.
The prosecution had earlier asked the 1st division to move Revilla, Cambe, and alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, a detention facility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
In the case of Revilla and Cambe, government lawyers had argued that the 4-room bungalow where they are detained “was originally built as a barracks for officials of the Custodial Service Unit of the Philippine National Police” and is “not a detention facility.”
Napoles was moved to Camp Bagong Diwa from Fort Sto Domingo in Laguna on July 28.
The 3 face plunder charges for allegedly conniving to steal millions of pesos from government funds meant for lawmakers’ development projects. Revilla and Cambe also face 16 counts of graft, while Napoles faces 42 counts of graft. – Rappler.com