Press Statement of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza
PRESS STATEMENT OF ATTY. ESTELITO P. MENDOZA
JANUARY 31, 2019
(Re: People vs Recilla, SV-14-CRM-0240)
The dispositive portion of of the “Decision” reads, as follows:
WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, judgement is hereby rendered finding Rirchard A. Cambe, and Janet Lim Napoles GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Plunder, defined and penalized under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7080, and are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with perpetual absolute disqualification to hold any public office.
For failure of the prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that accused Ramon“Bong” Revilla Jr. received, directly or indirectly the rebates, commission, and kickbacks from his PDAF, the Court cannot hold him liable for the crime of Plunder. Accordingly, he is ACQUITTED.
Moreover, in view of the discussion above, and pursuant to Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, accused are held solidarily an jointly liable to RETURN* to the National Treasure the amount of One Hundred Twenty-Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 124,500,000.00)
The above simply means what it says: Revilla did not receive, directly or indirectly, rebates, commission, and kickbacks from his PDAF. What, then shall he return?
The following paragraph of the dispositive portion does not state otherwise. It reads as follows:
Moreover, in view of the discussion above, and pursuant to Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, accused are held solidarily and jointly liable to RETURN* to the National Treasure they amount of One Hundred Twenty-Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 124,500,000.00)
Article 100 of the Penal Code reads as follows:
ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony— Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.
Having held that Revilla is not criminally liable, the above paragraph would not have referred to Revilla but only to the accused who have been held criminally liable, namely: Richard. A Cambe and Janet Lim Napoles.
Our laws are supposed to be instruments of “justice”. In criminal cases, “justice” is served where the guilty is found to have committed the offense charged beyond reasonable doubt; otherwise, he may not be punished by any measure.
THE QUESTION THAT SHOULD THEREFORE BE ASKED AND ANSWERED INSTEAD: HOW SHALL JUSTICE BE SERVED FOR THE INCARCERATION, DENIAL OF REVILLA’S LIBERTY, DESTRUCTION OF HIS REPUTATION, ANGUISH AND PAIN SUFFERED FOR MORE THAN FOUR (4) YEARS?