“What, then shall he return?” Bong Revilla Jr. insists he has nothing to return

  • Why should Bong Revilla Jr. pay civil damages?
  • Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is acquitted
  • Revilla should pay civil damages for being negligent in his duties since he allowed the pork barrel scam

Two months ago, the former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla has been acquitted by the Sandiganbayan from plunder charges in relation to the “Pork Barrel Scam.”

But the two co-accused, Janet Lim-Napoles and lawyer Richard  Cambe, according to the decision of the Sandiganbayan Special First Division were guilty.

“For Failure of the prosecution to established beyond reasonable doubt that the accused Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. receive, directly or indirectly, the rebates, commission, and kickbacks from his PDAF, the court cannot hold him liable for the crime of plunder. Accordingly he is acquitted,” the decision penned by Associate justice Geraldine Econg said.

Despite of his acquittal in the plunder case, the Office of the Ombudsman has insisted that the Sandiganbayan should require former Sen. Ramon “Bong Revilla to pay 124.5 million in civil damages to the national treasury. A 17-page motion to the anti-graft court’s First Division, state prosecutors said “that while Revilla was acquitted of plunder, it did not mean he had no civil liability since the crime was executed through his office.”

In response for this motion, his lawyer  Estelito Mendoza  released a statement to the media stressing that Revilla cannot be held liable as he was acquitted by the court after the failure of the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that he received commissions from his PDAF.

As led by lawyer Manuel T. Soriano Jr., he explained that “Courts can acquit an accused on reasonable doubt but still order payment of civil damages in the same case,” said the prosecutors.

“As then senator of the Philippines, Revilla should be held accountable to return the amount of money bled out from the coffers of the government by the scheme and scam maneuvered by a public officer under his direct supervision and control,” Revilla was negligent in his duties since he allowed the pork barrel scam “to flourish under his nose,” they added.

In its decision on the plunder case, the Sandiganbayan said the accused were “solidarily and jointly liable to return to the national treasury the amount of P124,500,000.”

It is the word “accused” without any distinction; the prosecutor means that Revilla was included in the order to pay the civil damages.

But still Revilla’s lawyer emphasized that Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code says that “every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.” Since he is already acquitted that means he should not pay any civil damages.

“Having held that Revilla is not criminally liable, the above paragraph would not have referred to Revilla but only to the accused who have been criminally liable, namely, Richard A. Cambe and Janet Lim Napoles,” Mendoza said.

Written by Rhelyn Harder

An open-minded person who seeks to inspire readers through writing. She believes that having the freedom and courage to express oneself is an opportunity to influence others.

‘The Boobay and Tekla Show’ hosts are thankful for the high ratings of their show

Madam Kilay breaks silence about separation from her husband