REVILLA HITS PNoy, 3 PALS, CALLS WHISTLEBLOWER LUY 'BOY PIRMA'

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has accused President Benigno Aquino III of interfering in the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. “Ginoong Pangulo, kung pag-uusapan lang naman po natin ang tama at mali, tama po ba na habang nililitis ang dating Chief Justice na si Renato Corona ay kailangang makialam ang mismong Pangulo ng Republika sa isang prosesong legal na dapat ay independyente?” Revilla asked when he delivered a privilege speech on Monday. (Mr. President, if we talk about what is right and wrong, was it right for the President of the Republic to interfere in the supposedly independent legal process of trying Justice Corona?) Earlier in his speech, Revilla denied having a hand in the P10-billion pork barrel scam that was allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, but failed to present details that would conclusively clear his name. He said his signatures in the documents linking him to the scandal were forged and called whistle-blower Benhur Luy as “Boy Pirma” or master forger. After blasting Luy, Revilla trained his guns at Malacañang. He said the scam was being used by the administration to coverup Aquino’s abuses and failures.

ALSO: Revilla Sr. ‘returns’ to Senate

Wheelchair-bound former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. returned to the Senate on Monday to personally watch and listen to his son and namesake’s, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., privilege speech on his alleged involvement in the “pork barrel” scam. The former senator was seated in front of the VIP gallery of the session hall. Other family members of Senator Revilla, including his wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, were seated at the same gallery. This is the first time that Senator Revilla will answer on the floor the alleged anomalous disbursement of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) also known as “pork barrel” funds.

ALSO: Revilla family arrives at Senate to show support

The family of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. arrived at the Senate on Monday to show their support for the senator, who is scheduled to deliver a speech on the floor in connection with his alleged involvement in the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam. Among those who came to support the senator ahead of his speech when the session of the Senate resumes at 3:00 p.m. were his wife, Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, their two daughters and three sons, including Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla. Revilla said his father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., will also go to the Senate to watch and listen to his speech.

ALSO: Revillas in full force at the senate

In his 12-page speech titled “Ito ba ang Tuwid na Daan?,” Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. also raised concerns regarding social issues affecting the public, including alleged corruption under the Aquino administration. The issues, he said, ranged from the unprecedented increase in power rates and SSS and PhilHealth contributions to the lapse of security at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 and the recent survey on persistent corruption in the government. At one point, Revilla also mentioned how hard it could be for President Aquino when his own sister and brother-in-law were implicated in the alleged $30-million bribe attempt on Inekon to ensure that the Czech company bags the MRT contract. Revilla Sr. as well as the senator’s wife Cavite Rep.Lani Mercado and other family members could be seen trying to hold back tears. Revilla’s colleagues at the opposition including Senators Nancy Binay, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vicente Sotto, Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito were first to shake the senator’s hands after his speech. Prior to delivering his speech, Revilla huddled with his relatives and friends in prayer.


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Revilla hits Luy, Aquino, 3 pals


Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. PHOTO BY NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, JANUARY 21, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Maila Ager — Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has accused President Benigno Aquino III of interfering in the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“Ginoong Pangulo, kung pag-uusapan lang naman po natin ang tama at mali, tama po ba na habang nililitis ang dating Chief Justice na si Renato Corona ay kailangang makialam ang mismong Pangulo ng Republika sa isang prosesong legal na dapat ay independyente?” Revilla asked when he delivered a privilege speech on Monday.

(Mr. President, if we talk about what is right and wrong, was it right for the President of the Republic to interfere in the supposedly independent legal process of trying Justice Corona?)

Earlier in his speech, Revilla denied having a hand in the P10-billion pork barrel scam that was allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, but failed to present details that would conclusively clear his name.

He said his signatures in the documents linking him to the scandal were forged and called whistle-blower Benhur Luy as “Boy Pirma” or master forger.

After blasting Luy, Revilla trained his guns at Malacañang. He said the scam was being used by the administration to coverup Aquino’s abuses and failures.

The senator then detailed his meeting with the President himself sometime before the Senate voted to impeach Corona.

Revilla started by showing a photo on the floor of a car with license plate number 6, which he said belonged to a Cabinet Secretary. He later identified the owner of the vehicle as Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

He also showed another photo, this time showing Roxas behind the vehicle. Revilla said it was him who took the picture.

Revilla said Roxas invited him to the latter’s residence in Cubao in Quezon City called “Bahay na Puti (white house)” and arrived there in the morning. Then he was asked to board the Interior secretary’s car that brought them to Bahay Pangarap at Malacañang.

It was the first time, he said, that he went to Bahay Pangarap where he met the President and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad there.

“Habang nag-aalmusal kami ng pandesal, kesong puti, itlog, hamon, tapa, sinangag at mga prutas, bumangka si Secretary Mar tungkol sa mga dahilan kung bakit dapat ma-impeach si dating Chief Justice Corona,” Revilla said.

(While having breakfast, Secretary (Manuel) Mar (Roxas II) made a pitch why Corona should be impeached.)

“Bago kami magtapos, nagulat ako nang sinabi sa akin ng Presidente: “Pare, parang awa mo na, ibalato mo nasa akin. Kailangan s’yang ma-impeach,” the senator said.

(Before finishing our breakfast, I was stunned to hear the President telling me: “Buddy, please give me a favor. He should be impeached.”)

“Sabay sunod naman ni Secretary Abad, “Magtulungan tayo, Senator,” Revilla added.

(Then (Budget) Secretary (Florencio) Abad seconded, “Let’s help, Mr. Senator.”)

“Aaminin ko sa inyo ako ay nabigla dahil tila dinidiktahan ako ng Pangulo kaya ang naging sagot ko lang, Mr. President, I will do what is right. Naniniwala po ako na dapat manindigan sa tama at gagawin ko lang po ang tama para sa bayan,” he said.

(I would admit that I was so surprised that the President seemed to be pressuring me, so my answer was, ‘Mr. President, I will do what is right.’ I believe we should make a stand and fight what is right for the country.)

Revilla called Roxas as “Boy Pick-Up.”

Revilla was among those who voted to impeach Corona.

In opening his speech, Revilla’s voice was trembling in denying any involvement in the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam.

“For the record Mister President, I have nothing to do with this scam. I have no dealings and transactions with Napoles and the whistle-blowers,” Revilla said before a jampacked gallery of the Senate.

He also showed a PowerPoint presentation to show that his signatures had been forged.

“I did not confirm anything,” Revilla said, apparently referring to news reports that he had confirmed his signatures in some documents pertaining to the release of his “pork barrel” funds.

No less than the witnesses themselves, he said, who pointed to the principal whistle-blower, Benhur Luy, as the expert in forging signatures.

“Sa makatuwid, eto palang si Benhur Luy ay si ‘Boy Pirma,’” Revilla added.

(Therefore, this Benhur Luy is a master forger.)

Revilla also blasted Secretary Leila De Lima’s Department of Justice legal team for accepting Luy in the Witness Protection Program.

In a radio report, De Lima, in reaction, defended Luy and vouched for his integrity.

Revilla Sr. ‘returns’ to Senate By Maila Ager INQUIRER.net 3:13 pm | Monday, January 20th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines– Wheelchair-bound former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. returned to the Senate on Monday to personally watch and listen to his son and namesake’s, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., privilege speech on his alleged involvement in the “pork barrel” scam.

The former senator was seated in front of the VIP gallery of the session hall.

Other family members of Senator Revilla, including his wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, were seated at the same gallery.

This is the first time that Senator Revilla will answer on the floor the alleged anomalous disbursement of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) also known as “pork barrel” funds.

Revilla family arrives at Senate to show support By Maila Ager INQUIRER.net 2:14 pm | Monday, January 20th, 2014



Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. poses with his son, Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla, and grandson, who came to the Senate ahead of his scheduled privilege speech this Monday on “pork barrel” funds. Photo courtesy of DWIZ reporter Cely Bueno

MANILA, Philippines — The family of Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. arrived at the Senate on Monday to show their support for the senator, who is scheduled to deliver a speech on the floor in connection with his alleged involvement in the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam.

Among those who came to support the senator ahead of his speech when the session of the Senate resumes at 3:00 p.m. were his wife, Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, their two daughters and three sons, including Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla.

Revilla said his father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., will also go to the Senate to watch and listen to his speech.

The senator said he decided to address the issue only now because he had to thoroughly study the matter, consult other people, and pray.

His speech, Revilla noted, also coincides with the observance of the National Day of Prayer later Monday afternoon.

Besides, Revilla said, he had to submit first his counter affidavit on the plunder case filed against him at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged anomalous use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund also known as “pork barrel” funds.

FROM PHILSTAR

REVILLAS IN FULL FORCE AT THE SENATE

PHILSTAR, MANILA, Philippines - Members of the Revilla clan led by the patriarch, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., came in full force yesterday to show their support for the senator who let loose with his own accusations against the administration in a privilege speech.

Also seen at the VIP gallery of the Senate plenary hall were Revilla’s political allies in Cavite led by Gov. Johnvic Remulla and the senator’s son, vice-governor Jolo Revilla, as well as friends from show business such as Phillip Salvador.

In his 12-page speech titled “Ito ba ang Tuwid na Daan?,” Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. also raised concerns regarding social issues affecting the public, including alleged corruption under the Aquino administration.

The issues, he said, ranged from the unprecedented increase in power rates and SSS and PhilHealth contributions to the lapse of security at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 and the recent survey on persistent corruption in the government.

At one point, Revilla also mentioned how hard it could be for President Aquino when his own sister and brother-in-law were implicated in the alleged $30-million bribe attempt on Inekon to ensure that the Czech company bags the MRT contract.

However, Czech ambassador to the Philippines had publicly clarified that the President’s sister Ballsy and her husband Eldon Cruz were not involved in any bribery attempt.

Revilla Sr. as well as the senator’s wife Cavite Rep.Lani Mercado and other family members could be seen trying to hold back tears.

Revilla’s colleagues at the opposition including Senators Nancy Binay, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vicente Sotto, Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito were first to shake the senator’s hands after his speech.

Prior to delivering his speech, Revilla huddled with his relatives and friends in prayer.

Although wheelchair-bound, the Revilla patriarch’s presence was assuring for the senator, who was almost in tears as he defended the family name from accusations of corruption.

Revilla Sr., known as Pepeng Agimat in Philippine movies, was weeping when his son addressed him in Filipino during the speech, “Dad, here it is, I will be fighting for the truth. I will fight for our dignity.”

The senator said his father had been egging him to answer the pork barrel raps to set the record straight and clear his name, but it took him some time and courage to do so.

Revilla’s lawyer Joel Bodegon said his client had long wanted to deliver his speech but had been overtaken by events after Sen. Estrada rebutted all the allegations last year.

“I have already accepted whatever fate has in store for me. I have already accepted this political persecution and I will face whatever comes next,” Revilla said in the latter part of his speech, believed by his lawyers as a “last opportunity” to address the public regarding the pork barrel controversy.

“I am not afraid. I have already surrendered my fate to God,” he said, ending his speech with a verse from Isaiah chapter 41 verses 10 and 11: “So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God… I will strengthen you and help you.”

Revilla also gave the occasion some comic relief when he brought out a toy truck loaded with stacks of papers, purportedly documents containing evidence against him. It was apparently a prank on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who had declared that a truckload of evidence had been gathered against Revilla.

Antipolo Mayor Jun-Jun Henares and wife Andrea Bautista-Henares were also on hand to show support for the senator.

“We lift it all to the Lord,” Mercado told The STAR prior to the senator’s speech.

Lani said it was her daughter Ina who had to stop pursuing her law studies after she was affected by the pork barrel controversy.

“She was not bullied… it was properly explained that she was not bullied but because of her sentiments, she had to stop,” Lani told reporters after the speech. Ina was in first year law proper, she added.

At the same time, Lani appealed for public support and understanding.

“Sana po maunawaan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga sinabi niya. We just want a listening ear,” she said.

Asked if the family is prepared for possible reprisal after the senator attacked the Aquino administration and accused it of influencing the Corona impeachment trial, Lani said they have surrendered everything to God.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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