Bong Revilla cleared of plunder in pork barrel scam case

MANILA- The Sandiganbayan acquitted former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. of plunder on Friday in his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam case. 

Two of his co-accused, Janet Lim Napoles and Richard Cambe, were found guilty of plunder by the anti-graft court. 

Prosecutors had accused the actor-turned-politician of embezzling P224 million in discretionary funds while he was still senator. He, however, is still facing separate PDAF graft cases. 

The former action star has been detained at the Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since 2014.

Revilla, along with former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, were accused of receiving kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for funneling part of their discretionary funds to bogus non-government organizations. ​

Revilla has repeatedly denied accusations that he misused his congressional allocation.

“I never received money from Janet Lim Napoles at sa mga kasamahan niya (and her colleagues),” Revilla said during one of the hearings of his plunder case.

The country’s former top graft buster Conchita Carpio Morales said Revilla should be convicted of plunder over his alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso racket.

“Given the evidence the office gathered, if I were a judge, I would convict him. Period,” she said in statement released Thursday.

Revilla is seeking to return to the Senate in next year’s midterm elections along with Estrada and Enrile.