Why Bong Revilla’s ‘palabas’ tanked

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MALACAÑANG has been gloating over its own survey that says most netizens rejected Sen. Bong Revilla's farewell performance at the Senate.

His "pakulo" was a mix of bitterness over the plunder charge, acceptance of his fate and promise not to flee, pledge to fight back, doses of advice on how the president should deal with the country's woes, and a sprinkling of thanks to colleagues and voters.

A package of drama and music, complete with video images and sounds extolling the senator's popularity and virtue.


Maybe the Malacañang survey was right, up to its 99.93 percent self-serving count of nay-sayers.

The show was doomed to fail. Like previous defenses of Revilla and his pal Sen. Jinggoy Estrada -- (1) "bakit kami lang?" (why only us?) and (2) political persecution -- alleging he's the victim, instead of culprit, doesn't work.

Not to a public incensed by the large-scale looting of government funds and infuriated by the widespread disclaimer of liability.

Apparently, general denial doesn't wash. Revilla hasn't presented specifics why he couldn't have stolen money from his pork barrel: evidence that PDAF grants were spent legitimately and he hadn't become wealthier from ill-gotten wealth.

Shift of burden

How about the presumption of innocence to which everyone accused of wrongdoing is entitled? Burden of proof shifted after whistleblowers gave prosecutors and the public probable cause to believe the charges are true.

In the public mind, Revilla and company are probably guilty. That's why Bong's speech-and-song, even with family mourners in background, didn't fly. Unlike his “Ang Panday” movies, the Senate extravaganza tanked.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 12, 2014.


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