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Monday, December 1, 2014

Sandiganbayan to Decide on Revilla's Bail on petition December 2

The Sandiganbayan First Division will issue a ruling this December 2 on the petition for bail of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and his plunder co-accused.
First Division Chairman Efren dela Cruz explained that the court has asked the Supreme Court for extension of up to 10 days to resolve the bail petitions of Revilla and two co-accused, his office staff member Atty. Richard Cambe and alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim Napoles.
The Supreme Court had issued a circular that directed courts to resolve bail petitions within 48 hours after parties have formally offered their evidence and presented their respective arguments and summations.
After the prosecution and defense lawyers wrapped up their presentation of evidence and conducted their summations last November 20, dela Cruz declared that the court will ask for an extension before the High Court due to the voluminous exhibits that were offered as evidence from both sides.
Though their request for extension has been submitted, dela Cruz yesterday bared that the Supreme Court has yet to make a decision to whether or not to grant it.
Meantime, dela Cruz admitted that as of yesterday, he and his two other fellow Associate Justices at the First Division will still have to deliberate on the petition for bail.
If need be, dela Cruz said that the court will seek another extension from the High Court.
Last November 20, Revilla’s lawyers offered among their exhibits the testimony of handwriting expert Desiderio Pagui, a retired National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) document examiner who said that the signatures of Revilla were forged in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) documents that are now being used as evidence against the lawmaker.
However, state prosecutors told the court that Pagui “failed to present clear and convincing evidence that the signatures do not belong to Senator Revilla.”
Hence, the prosecution added “the court is not bound by the opinion of a hand writing expert.”
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