Revilla questions OMB move to garnish his assets

MANILA — Detained Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. brushed off on Tuesday as “premature” a bid by government lawyers to garnish his multi-million-peso assets through a writ of preliminary attachment.

Revilla said the motion of the Ombudsman asking the Sandiganbayan to issue a writ of preliminary attachment against his assets is a diversion to the dismal performance of an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) witness last week.

A writ of preliminary attachment functions like a freeze order that would prevent an accused from disposing of or hiding his wealth, which the state seeks to recover for allegedly being ill-gotten.

In a motion filed before the anti-graft court’s First Division yesterday, prosecutors said a notice of garnishment covering cash and properties totaling P224.5 million would preserve the assets while the accused is on trial. The assets include multiple bank accounts, real properties, shares of stocks as well as vehicles.

Revilla had maintained that he can defend all the transactions in his bank account as examined by the AMLC, but questioned the motion seeking to have his assets attached as the court has yet to rule on his petition for bail.

“I have not been proven guilty by the Sandiganbayan and yet the lawyers of the Ombudsman are now moving heaven and earth to garnish my assets,” Revilla said in a statement issued from his detention cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City.