MANILA — Amidst his imminent arrest over pork barrel scam, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. on Monday expressed readiness to face detention, bidding goodbye to his colleagues, family, friends and almost 20 million who voted for him in 2010.
”I’m ready to be detained and to sacrifice because I know the truth shall prevail at the right time,” Revilla said in what he considered “possibly my last privilege speech.”
Revilla, one of the three senators charged with plunder in the alleged P10 billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam, said he is now leaving his fate in court’s hands even as he reiterated his innocence.
”I said it before, my conscience is clear. Now that case has been filed against us, let me face it in court. Leave it to the court and I will defend myself there,” he said.
Revilla also appealed to stop the mudslinging and instead focus on addressing the problems of the country.
The senator also urged President Benigno Aquino III to continue in leading the country “not with hatred but with love” in his two remaining years in Malacanang.
Revilla asked the media for their “commitment to responsibility and their sensitivities.”
”It is very difficult to build name to be destroyed in a twinkling of an eye. What if those destroyed names have been proven innocents? Can we bring back their clean reputation and dignities?,” he asked.
Nevertheless, Revilla believed that the Sandiganbayan will not allow injustice to prevail.
As he thanked God for divine guidance, Revilla also expressed gratitude to his father, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., and his family including wife Bacoor congresswoman and actress Lani Mercado, and son Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla III, who joined his throng of supporters that jampacked the Senate session hall gallery.
He also thanked his colleagues, leaving message to each one of them beginning from Senate President Franklin Drilon.
”I pray that you, as the leader of this chamber, will be successful in rebuilding this institution. Fight for this institution,” Revilla told Drilon.
To Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III, Revilla said, “You are still my friend. Lead the Blue Ribbon Committee in fulfilling its true mandate.”
An emotional Revilla managed to laugh when he gave message to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, another senator charged in pork scam, and fellow actor Sen. Lito Lapid.
”Kosa, hanggang dito ba naman magkasama tayo? Pinagtatawanan tayo siguro ni Daboy ngayon.” (Fellow inmate, even here we’re still together? Daboy is laughing at us), Revilla said, referring to the late actor Rudy Fernandez.
To Lapid, Revilla said: “My friend Lito, you’re the Leon Guerrero of Filipino masses. You’re really the hero of the masses.”
Revilla also gave message to veteran senator Juan Ponce Enrile whom he called “one of the greatest leaders of this country.”
”Your brilliance, your experience, brought a culture of excellence not only to this institution but to every institution you have led. You are undoubtedly the ultimate statesman,” Revilla said of Enrile.
Enrile was also charged with plunder and graft in the pork barrel scam.
Revilla also thanked partymates former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, LAKAS-CMD president Martin Romualdez, and former President Fidel V. Ramos, as well as Vice President Jejomar Binay, and former President Joseph Estrada.
Revilla finished his privileged speech with a music video presentation entitled “Salamat, Kaibigan” (Thank you friend).