Revilla’s plunder case to resume after 3 years of waiting

UNTV News   •   June 21, 2017   •   4191

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_062117_Senator Bong Revilla

After three years of waiting, the trial of former Senator Bong Revilla’s plunder case will finally begin.

The prosecution will present Thursday witnesses from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Bureau of Treasury (BTr) and Department of Agriculture (DA).

Revilla’s camp has high hopes that he will be able to prove his innocence in court.

“The issue is very simple, whether any kickback was delivered to Senator Revilla. But that is not sufficient for plunder. That money must be delivered in consideration of overt act defined under Section 1D of the Plunder Law on the basis of the allegations of the information that overt criminal act is an endorsement of the project to certain NGO’s and that endorsement are not those enumerated under Section 1D which may constitute an overt criminal act,” said Revilla’s Lawyer, Atty. Estelito Mendoza.

It was in September 2013 when the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed plunder complaints against Janet Lim Napoles, and then Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla Jr.

The complaints are in connection with their alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF scam.

In 2014, the ombudsman announced its decision to file charges against Napoles and the three senators.

The accused appealed the case but it was rejected by the ombudsman. The plunder and graft cases were formally filed against them at the Sandiganbayan on June 6 of the same year.

Sixteen counts of graft were filed against Revilla, whose cases were being heard by the first division of the Anti -Graft Court led by Justice Efren Dela Cruz.

It was on June 19, 2014 when the first division released the arrest warrant for Revilla. The morning after, Revilla voluntarily went to Sandingbayan and in the afternoon, he was detained at PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.

On June 26, 2016 Revilla was indicted together with his former staff and co-accused Richard Cambe. They both pleaded not guilty to the cases.

On July 2014 the pretrial conference for the cases began, but was cancelled for several times.

The period allotted for the hearing of the motion and appeals of the prosecution and defense was from 2014 until June 2017.

And after three years of waiting, the pre-trial order was signed on June 15, 2017 that would formally start the trial, on June 22.

“We have been detained here for three years now by June 20. So we are really in a difficult situation. Despite this, we are not losing hope that the truth will come out,” said Revilla.

Meanwhile, the date of the trial for the plunder case against Enrile is yet to be set as he still has a pending motion.

The signing of the pre-trial order for the case of Estrada has already been done.

On the other hand, PDAF scam queen Janet Lim Napoles has asked the Sandiganbayan to exclude all her 2014 scam admissions from the prosecution evidence.

In her motion, Napoles said that her 2014 affidavits are inadmissible in Revilla’s plunder trial as she made them for her failed bid to be a state witness.

Napoles also invoked her right against self-incrimination in blocking the use of her 2014 affidavits submitted by the Department of Justice to the Senate

The affidavits were only meant for then-DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue

 

Additional P1 billion released to LGUs hit by Odette – DBM

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday said it has released an additional P1 billion to local government units (LGU) in areas devastated by Typhoon Odette.

In a statement the DBM said the additional budget was released to the following areas to aid them in addressing the damage caused by Typhoon Odette:

  • Region IV-B (P84.38 million)
  • Region VI (P248.35 million)
  • Region VII (P202.66 million)
  • Region VIII (P115.43 million)
  • Region X (P84.37 million)
  • Region XIII (264.81 million

“The allocations for the respective regions were computed based on the number of affected households and on the proportionate amount of damages incurred by Typhoon Odette on the region’s infrastructure and agricultural sectors, as recently reported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” the department said.

“The total funding requirement was also charged from the FY 2021 Contingent Fund and shall similarly be downloaded to the respective authorized government servicing banks of the LGUs by the Bureau of the Treasury,” it added.

The latest release follows the initial P1 billion released by the DBM last week after President Rodrigo Duterte promised to give more funds to LGUs affected by the calamity.

Overall, the department has released P2.0 billion to assist hard-stricken LGUs.

The DBM said it will issue a local budget circular to provide guidelines on the release and use of the financial assistance.

No food shortage in Odette-hit areas — Dar

Maris Federez   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured that the country has sufficient food supply despite the damage caused by Typhoon Odette to the agricultural sector.

Based on DA data, more than 68,000 farmers and fishers were affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Around 300,000 hectares of farmland were destroyed and large portions of fisheries were affected.

The coconut and rice industries have also greatly suffered.

“Ang total damage and losses sa agriculture natin sa bansa ay umabot na po ng almost P6 billion pesos, still counting,” said DA Secretary William Dar.

Despite this turn of events, however, Dar assured that there will be no shortage of food supply.

“We do not have a big problem in terms of rice. Rice is so much available in most of the areas. But, of course, there are those areas that are slightly affected because of logistics,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department allotted Php2.9 billion to procure and distribute seeds for sowing and fishing boats.

This is to assist farmers and fisherfolks to get back on their feet and start anew. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

2022 national budget, lalagdaan ni Pangulong Duterte sa Dec. 28 – DBM

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Posibleng pirmahan na ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa Martes, Disyembre 28, ang P5.024 trilyong national budget para sa taong 2022, ayon kay acting Budget Secretary Tina Rose Marie Canda.

“If I’m not mistaken, it will be signed tomorrow afternoon,” ani Canda sa isang panayam.

Naniniwala ang budget official na kaunting line items lang ang ivi-veto ng pangulo sa budget measure.

“Pero it’s very few if I’m not mistaken, kasi parang maganda yung mga naipasok ng mga legislators doon sa budget,” ani Canda.

Samantala, P6 bilyong halaga ng pondo ang ilalaan ng gobyerno bago matapos ang taong 2021 para tulungan ang mga biktima ng bagyong Odette.

Aabot sa P1 bilyon ang unang inilabas na pondo ng pamahalaan noong Biyernes, at P1 bilyong piso muli ngayong Lunes. Ang nalalabing halaga ay ilalabas bago matapos ang taon.

“Tapos maglalabas din kami bago matapos ang taon ng 4 na bilyon na ayuda para sa mga local government units na ipahahatid naman nila sa mga mamamayang naapektuhan ng bagyong Odette,” ani Canda.

Oras na mapirmahan ang 2022 national budget, maaari na ring magamit ang pondo para sa mga biktima ng bagyo sa Enero.

Nasa P4 bilyon ang nakalaan para rito sa 2022 national budget.

Isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit napabilis ang pag-apruba ng kongreso sa spending plan sa susunod na taon ay bunsod ng pinsala ng typhoon odette sa ilang bahagi ng bansa. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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