- Sandiganbayan said Bong Revilla is not guilty of plunder
- The not guilty verdict was made via a majority vote
- Revilla was accused to have pocketed almost P225-M of public funds
The Sandiganbayan First Division on Friday, December 7, 2018, handed a not guilty verdict to former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla over the plunder case in relation to his alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The not guilty verdict was made via a majority vote. Associate Justices Geraldine Faith Econg, Edgardo Caldona, and Georgina Hidalgo voted for Revilla’s acquittal while Justices Efren dela Cruz and Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta dissented, as per Philstar.
The former senator was detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame since 2014 after the Office of the Ombudsman filed the plunder case against him for allegedly funneling his PDAF allocation to fictitious livelihood projects of non-governmental organizations owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in exchange for kickbacks.
Revilla allegedly pocketed at least P224,512, 500 in kickbacks.
His co-accused, former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce-Enrile were also detained at the same detention facility of the PNP but they were later on allowed to post bail by the anti-graft court.
Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the PDAF scam, and Revilla’s former aide Richard Cambe were found guilty of plunder. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or maximum of 40 years imprisonment.