The drama that is Revilla

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

YOU wouldn’t have known that last June 19 was the birthday of the country’s national hero Jose P. Rizal.

I wouldn’t have remembered either if my parents hadn’t brought it up.
There was a short clip of the floral offering at the Cebu City Hall on TV, but other than that…

Seriously, though, all eyes (and ears) were and are on the honorable senators who are facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan.


Who could forget Sen. Bong Revilla’s ultimo adios at the Senate earlier in the week?

It was an emotional rollercoaster, worthy of a seasoned showman. He capped it off with a video collage of his accomplishments during his 10-year stint as a legislator (yes, 10 years). The background song was “Salamat,” which the senator sung himself as a tribute to all his friends and supporters.

And they were there. In the Senate. Teary-eyed, some of them. His wife Lani couldn’t hold it back and was spotted sobbing in the gallery with his children and grandchildren, witnesses to this modern-day Greek drama.

I wanted to clap. Art imitating life. And since we’re in the Philippines, I was waiting for the whole family to join Revilla on the floor. I expected them to break out into “Edelweiss” and sneak off into the night and head for Switzerland to escape the wretched Nazi…oh wait, that’s the Von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music.”

Revilla sure knew how to make light of a serious situation, which just happens to be billions of pesos of the people’s money that he and his fellow senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile are accused of stealing.

But like the “Shake, Rattle & Roll” movie franchise, his antics seem to have no ending.

When the country would have been celebrating the man who allegedly never wanted independence from Spain but instead clamored for representation in the Cortes, Revilla revealed that he and his fellow accused had reached a gentleman’s agreement with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

He said he had talked to the CIDG chief long before the ombudsman filed the plunder and graft charges. He had asked the latter that “he be afforded the respect given a senator as he reiterated his strong stand to face the matter squarely and not to evade arrest.”

I wondered what he meant by respect.
Then last Friday, Revilla staged another grand production. This time, it was his surrender at the Sandiganbayan complete with a 10-vehicle entourage composed of family, friends, bodyguards and, since he is a movie star, the fans.

Revilla got out of his vehicle flashing his pearly whites, waving to his beleaguered supporters.

He was later fetched by (why am I not surprised) the CIDG chief to bring him to Camp Crame.

The PNP spokesperson said the senator and his family were emotional while he was getting his fingerprints taken. The spokesperson went so far as to say that “the senator appeared to be trying to hold back his tears while his relatives were crying during the booking procedure. It seems he was trying to stay composed throughout the process.”

The spokesperson must also be moonlighting as Revilla’s publicist since the photos taken during the incident don’t show a politician under duress, but instead portray a beaming actor who looked like he was strolling down the red carpet.

As soon as Revilla was taken to the custodial center, it was reported that his blood pressure went up.

And as if on cue, his wife and daughter, after they emerged from the jail compound, announced Revilla had a migraine.

If he couldn’t take the heat in his detention room, I wonder how he’s going to get out of this in one piece. Deus Ex Machina, anyone?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 22, 2014.


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