Revilla to ask court to allow him to vote in BBL

By , on May 21, 2015

Sen. Ramon 'Bong' Revilla (screenshot from YouTube footage)
Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla (screenshot from YouTube footage)

MANILA – Detained Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. said on Thursday he will ask the Sandiganbayan to allow him to participate and vote in the upcoming Senate deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Revilla said he has instructed his lawyers to file an urgent motion “so that the court could immediately act on the matter.”

Though he remains in detention, Revilla stressed it does not mean he has been relieved from his responsibilities as legislator.

”To not participate in the BBL crafting is dereliction of our mandated duty that we swore to fulfill. I still have to do my sworn duties,” Revilla, the No. 1 senator in the 2010 elections, said.

Revilla said he garnered 20 million votes and the highest vote in Mindanao in 2010.

”The people of Mindanao and the entire country made me their representative,” Revilla said.

“I am hopeful that the First Division will allow me to fulfill my mandate. Not only is it my constitutional right, but more importantly, my constitutional duty,” he added.

Revilla was one of the three senators charged with plunder for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the so-called PhP10-billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam from 2004 to 2012. The other accused senators are Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, Revilla collected PhP224.512 million kickbacks through the bogus non-government organization (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

On the other hand, Estrada was accused of hoarding PhP183.8 million in commission while Enrile allegedly pocketed PhP172.33 million also through Napoles, who was dubbed as pork barrel queen.

The three senators have been detained at Camp Crame since June 2014.

The House of Representatives Ad Hoc committee approved the BBL draft last Wednesday while the Senate is set to wrap up its public hearing next.