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Bong Revilla hospitalized, skips 1st day of his plunder case trial

Former Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. failed to show up on the first day of the trial of his plunder case as he is currently confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City.

During the hearing, Revilla's counsel Atty. Reody Anthony Balisi informed the Sandiganbayan First Division that the former senator could not show up because he is confined due to hypertension.

"We were informed yesterday (Wednesday) that the good Senator Revilla [Jr.] was confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center... when he was visiting his father," Balisi told the court.

Wit the court's permission, the younger Revilla visited his ailing father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., at the St. Luke's Medical Center last Tuesday.

The elder Revilla underwent a medical procedure last Monday for his Valvular Heart Disease, Severe Mitral Regurgitation, Congestive Heart Failure, and NYHA FC II.

During the trial, Balisi showed the court Revilla Jr.'s medical certificate as well as his certificate of confinement as proof of his client's condition.

"Due to this development, may we move that he remain at the hospital until he is discharged," Balisi asked the court, adding that they were informed that Revilla maybe discharged this Thursday at the earliest.

Lead prosecutor Joefferson Toribio, however, opposed the pleading.

"He [Balisi] said until he [Revilla Jr.] is discharged, he did not say [Revilla] will be discharged today," Toribio said.

But Balisi argued that the doctors will not "rule for certainty" on the unexpected development.

"But despite any of that, we were informed that he would be discharged today," Balisi added. 

Revilla Jr. is facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly pocketing P224.5 million in kickbacks from channeling his Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to the bogus non-government organizations of detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

He is committed for detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

His ongoing plunder trial is held every Thursday for a total of 55 trial dates. —LBG, GMA News