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MANILA, Philippines – The two dissenters of the Sandiganbayan Special First Division maintained that convicted Richard Cambe could not have executed the elaborate pork barrel scam without the help of his boss, former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
“I find it hard to believe that this scam of such magnitude was confined only within the realm of Napoles and Cambe to the exclusion of Revilla,” First Division chairman and Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz said.
De la Cruz also noted that the company of Revilla’s wife, Lani Mercado, received sums amounting to P27.745 million in deposits, “most of which were done proximate to the time Cambe received cash from [whistle-blower Benhur] Luy, and during the period when the company had no operations.”
For her part, Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta said in her dissent: “One need only turn a discerning eye, and not look the other way.”
Estoesta said the conclusion that the forgery dealt “a great blow to the prosecution came as rather swift.” She also said: “The unexplained wealth of Senator Revilla is one glaring fact, left unrelated, to gloss over.”
The “consequential ruin” of faulty reasoning on the part of the majority “may eventually free a man once accused of having conspired in raiding the public treasury to hundreds of millions,” Estoesta’s strongly worded opinion said.
You may read the two dissenting opinions in full below:
Associate Justice Estoesta’s dissent:
Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz’s concurring and dissenting opinion:
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