“Ang sakit [it hurts],” laments Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. earlier today, Monday, plunder charges have been filed against him at the Office of the Ombudsman by the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation.
The plunder case was charged to address Revilla’s involvement in the pork barrel scam, where 12 senators and 70 congressmen allegedly embezzled a total of P10 billion of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations. Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles is reportedly the mastermind behind the conspiracy.
On the verge of tears, Sen. Revilla requested the public not to judge them too hastily.
“Ang hiling ko sa sambayanan, huwag kaming husgahan. Ipapaliwanag namin ito hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang detalye [I only ask the public not to judge us. We’re going to explain everything until the very last detail],” Revilla said somberly.
“The bar of public opinion is not in our favor. Hindi pa man po naisasampa ang kaso laban sa kanya, guilty na siya sa mata ng publiko [the charges haven’t even been filed yet, but he already looks guilty in the public eye]” Revilla’s lawyer Atty. Joel Bodegon said at a separate interview.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada was also charged with plunder together with Revilla. However, Estrada remained unemotional as he faced the media.
“Nais ko pong ipaalam sa inyo [na] nakahanda akong harapin lahat ng mga bintang at paratang laban sa akin. Ako po ay walang kinalaman sa anumang katiwalian sa PDAF [I would like to let everyone know that I am ready to face all accusations and allegations against me. I have nothing to do with the PDAF scam],” he said from his prepared statement.
“The public’s minds are being conditioned that we are the worst thieves. That, I cannot accept,” Estrada added.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile was also charged with plunder, but is currently receiving medical attention. According to Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Enrile was “rushed to the hospital” Saturday night because of a sudden rise in his blood pressure.
However, Sotto did not give specifics on the former senate president’s condition or whereabouts.
“Senator Enrile is indisposed right now. His blood pressure shot up …. Parang meron yata siyang stones sa kidney or gall bladder that caused his blood pressure to rise,” Estrada seconded.