More trial delays: Bong Revilla puts off presentation of evidence again

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The Sandiganbayan on Thursday (February 4) cancelled for the second time Sen. Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr's pre-trial hearing over a plunder case.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — It was former Senator Bong Revilla's turn to present evidence in his plunder case over the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday morning.

But the trial was again canceled as his lawyers filed an urgent motion that effectively reset the hearing.

Trial cancellations have been happening for the past five months. The former lawmaker was originally scheduled to begin presenting evidence on January 25.

In his motion, Revilla said he is unable to come up with a proper defense because the allegations against him are vague and unclear.

"It is fairly obvious that the accused would be unable to do so unless he knows or is aware  of the evidence presented by the prosecution and admitted by the Court to prove beyond reasonable doubt and primary elements of the offense of plunder as alleged in the Information," Revilla's motion read.

He wants the prosecution to identify by color-the body of the crime, in this case the money in blue, and how he allegedly plundered it in red.

Ombudsman prosecutors aired their frustration in their comment, questioning Revilla's claim that he is unaware of the specifics of the allegations.

Pointing out the documentary and testimonial evidence they had presented, the prosecution appealed to the court not to allow the defense to feign ignorance.

"This honorable court is a court of law and noble magistrates. It cannot be hypnotized by accused Revilla's chanting of repeated arguments, which were passed upon by this honorable court," prosecutors said.

They added this argument is a mere rehash of previous pleadings Revilla filed seeking the dismissal of his cases, which were all denied by the court.

Revilla is the only accused in the plunder case who has yet to present evidence.

Instead of moving on with the trial, he asked the court for permission to leave his place of detention next Monday, June 18th, to visit his dentist for routine cleaning. It was granted.

The court has yet to decide on the motion. Revilla is currently detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

He is charged with plunder and graft for allegedly diverting his pork barrel to fake nongovernmental organizations.