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Revilla, others sought to settle P124.5-M PDAF liability

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By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

PROSECUTORS of the Office of the Ombudsman have filed a motion asking the Sandiganbayan to execute its decision that former senator Ramon B. Revilla, Jr. should “jointly” pay P124.5 million with co-accused Richard A. Cambe and Janet Lim-Napoles, in connection with their plunder case.

Mr. Revilla was ordered to pay that amount despite being cleared from that case.

In a 17-page Motion for Execution of Judgment filed at the Sandiganbayan Special First Division, the Ombudsman Special Prosecutor’s office argued there is basis in imposing the civil liability despite the court’s decision to acquit Mr. Revilla.

The motion is based on the Dec. 7 decision of the anti-graft court, in which it ruled the accused, referring to Mr. Revilla, Mr. Cambe and Ms. Napoles, shall return the said P124.5 million to the National Treasury.

“As regards Revilla, while he was acquitted, the same was based merely on reasonable doubt and not due to the absolute failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt,” the prosecutors stated in the motion, dated Jan. 28.

“This is why the judgment did not declare him to be without civil liability.”

The confusion stemmed from the court’s decision to acquit Mr. Revilla and convict only Mr. Cambe and Ms. Napoles.

The plunder charges against them are in connection with their involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

The prosecutors explained that while the court failed to establish Mr. Revilla’s hand in the “pork-barrel” scam, he should be liable for his “lack of concern and gross and inexcusable negligence,” which allowed Mr. Cambe and Ms. Napoles to conspire.

They further explained that if Mr. Revilla was indeed not civilly liable, the court would have explicitly stated such or would not have used the term “accused” without exception or distinction.

The said motion will be up for the consideration of the Sandiganbayan special first division on Thursday morning.





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