MANILA, Philippines – The recent findings of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), alleging that Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. amassed millions of pesos in pork barrel kickbacks have been refuted by the detained senator.
In a statement sent yesterday from his cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Revilla disputed accusations that he built up for himself stores of ill-gotten wealth from a percentage of monies diverted from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF or pork barrel) to bogus non-government organizations set-up by pork queen, Janet Lim-Napoles.
Revilla bashed the AMLC for designating his accounts as “unexplained wealth” and “deliberately excluding” his legitimate sources of income.
Last week, Leigh Vhon Santos, an investigator with the AMLC testified before the Sandiganbayan that Revilla closed 20 bank accounts – each containing sums in the millions – in the months directly preceding and succeeding the media explosion of the pork barrel scam, and that there were strong indicators that Revilla had orchestrated a pork money laundering scheme..
Santos brought forth a 63-page investigative report disclosing the council’s findings of Revilla’s banking affairs, adding that they had “identified around 20 bank accounts and investments which were terminated in June to September 2013, which was around the time the scandal spread in the media.”
“Considering the foregoing, there are indications of money laundering scheme,” the AMLC report said; as Santos detailed that: “Between April 6, 2006 to April 28, 2010, Revilla and his immediate family made numerous deposits to their various bank accounts and placed investments totaling P87,626,587.63 within 30 days from the dates mentioned in Benhur Luy’s ledger when Revilla, through lawyer Richard Cambe, senior staff of the detained senator, allegedly received commissions of rebates to his PDAF in cash.”
Revilla – who claims that he is innocent of the charges set before him – is one of three senators detained for plunder and graft charges before the Sandiganbayan. The senator and movie actor allegedly received P224 million in kickbacks from his (PDAF) allocations from 2007 to 2009.
According to Revilla, the money he amassed was from the compensation he received from his blockbuster movies.
“Everything is justified. This P87 million they said I earned in five years… But Panday alone grossed P100 million. Agimat and Enteng Kabisote earned more than P150 million. Then there’s Idol ko si Kap, Kap’s Amazing Stories, commercials and endorsements,” Revilla said.
“I don’t need to steal and have never stolen from government,” Revilla said.