UPDATE: 2:25 AM (MLA Time) – Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr., wife Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, and some members of his family were cleared for departure to Israel at midnight (March 29, MLA time).
Messages circulated the media from an unknown number that Revilla is fleeing the country. Saying that the senator took Philippine Airlines flight PR 312 at 9:25 p.m. The rumors, however, were denied by his media relations officer Amy Mazon.
“[Revilla left] to seek divine intercession on his present predicament,” Mazon told Interaksyon.
Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison shared that the senator and his wife asked for permission to travel from Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Mison then sent a text message to Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., who forwarded the said SMS to reporters before midnight Friday.
Mison’s SMS reads: “Sir, Sen. Revilla and wife Cong. Lani were cleared for departure a few mins ago, EK335 for Dubai. Both legislators had travel authority from Senate President and House Speaker. FYI, sir.”
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, known for preventing former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country in the height of her electoral sabotage issue, reportedly gave Revilla a verbal permission to travel. Reports say that Revilla and family will be back by April 13th, in time for his wife’s birthday.
Sen. Bong Revilla was brought to the limelight after being dragged into the pork barrel scam where over P10 billion of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) were funneled to bogus non-government organizations allegedly set up by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for illegal detention of whistle-blower Benhur Luy.