The Office of the Ombudsman has asked the Sandiganbayan 1st Division not to dismiss the plunder case against alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
The Ombudsman prosecutors have submitted its opposition to the motion of Napoles seeking leave to file a demurrer to evidence which sought to contest the evidence presented during the trial.
“Given the sufficiency of the testimonial and documentary evidence against all the accused, it would, therefore, be premature at this stage of the proceedings to conclude that the prosecution’s evidence failed to establish their participation in the alleged conspiracy to commit the crime,” read the opposition of prosecutors.
In her motion, Napoles pointed out that “in a plunder case, it must be shown that the public officer was principally and ultimately benefited or enriched and not a private person, like herein private-accused Napoles.”
“It is clear as daylight that there is no crime of plunder that exists insofar as accused Napoles is concerned and that accordingly, the plunder charge should be dismissed,” she stressed.
Napoles is co-accused in all of the charges filed against Revilla who is facing plunder and 16 counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan.
Under the charges, Revilla is accused of having amassed P242 million in kickbacks from Napoles in exchange for choosing her non-government organizations to implement ghost projects funded by his PDAF.