Press Release
July 7, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1091:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Sandiganbayan Decision Acquitting Bong Revilla Anew in another PDAF Scam Case


I have not yet read the decision of the Sandiganbayan granting Senator Bong Revilla's demurrer to evidence in another PDAF Scam case with Janet Lim Napoles. I note that it's a divided vote of 3-2 in a division of five of the Sandiganbayan with two justices dissenting on the ponencia.

I'll be very interested to see the dissenting opinions. I am not privy to the Sandiganbayan proceedings, hence, would not be in a position to pass judgment on the merits of the main decision.

Preliminarily, however, I note that the granting of Revilla's demurrer amounts to his acquittal and can no longer be subjected to a motion for reconsideration or an appeal as either remedy would automatically result in putting Revilla in double jeopardy of prosecution. As a lawyer and a strong advocate of the Bill of Rights, I respect Revilla's right against double jeopardy.

That said, I can imagine the frustration of those who toiled in the gathering of evidence and case build-up of the PDAF cases, first, by the NBI Special Team on the PDAF Scam and, later, by the Ombudsman Field Investigation Office who validated and strengthened the evidence forwarded by the DOJ-NBI. As then DOJ Secretary who oversaw the work of the NBI Special Team and shepherded the team members in their arduous task, I share their sentiments.

But we have to respect the decision of the Sandiganbayan in conformity with the rule of law. We must now continue to draw lessons from all these setbacks - the bail grants and acquittals, to date, of those responsible for one of the gravest raids on the public coffers. Cumulatively, this amounts to billions of pesos coursed through the bogus NGOs and ghost projects of Janet Lim Napoles by the Senators and Congressmen who were allocated such funds as their pork barrel.

Maybe we can take succor in the fact that Napoles herself, who was already convicted in one of the cases, continues to be held in trial in other PDAF Scam cases, for the crimes she committed on behalf of her principals who, although freed from accountability and punishment, will be forever imprisoned in the guilt of their own conscience. ###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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