Revilla, Estrada cite 2016 polls behind move to jail them-A A +A
Monday, June 16, 2014
MANILA - Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada were one in saying that Malacañang is working double time to destroy members of the opposition ahead of the 2016 elections.
In an interview, Revilla said the Palace is obviously afraid of the opposition considering that the Filipinos, in various surveys, showed their disappointment with the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
Revilla, head of Lakas party, said he went around Metro Manila and nearby provinces to thank the people for their support despite being hounded by plunder and graft charges.
The senator from Cavite said the move of Malacañang is purely political as he maintained his innocence on the charges filed against him.
At the same time Revilla said he welcomed his fate, including detention.
“I’m prepared to sacrifice and to be jailed because I want the truth to come out. I’m ready anytime to surrender the moment the warrant of arrest against me is served," he said.
"Wala po akong balak magtago o tumakas dahil alam ko na lalabas ang katotohanan sa tamang panahon," Revilla added.
He also fired back at the tirades of President Aquino, reminding the Chief Executive that his biggest supporters happen to be a part of the entertainment industry.
“He may have forgotten the fact that one of his siblings contributed a lot in ensuring his victory in the last 2010 presidential elections," said Revilla.
Without naming names, it was obvious that Revilla was referring to the youngest presidential sister, TV host-actress Kris, who is also widely believed to be eyeing a local post, in preparation for a high position in the future.
Revilla, one of the three senators now facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan over the alleged misuse of pork barrel, was reacting to the statements made by Aquino in last week's Independence Day celebration, where the President took a swipe at some unnamed public officials seeking higher positions.
Both Revilla and Estrada are products of the movie industry.
Earlier, the Chief Executive reminded the electorate not to vote for those who are only good at reading scripts, dancing, singing and acting.
But Malacañang has clarified that what the President was trying to say is that qualification should not be limited to singing, dancing and acting.
Estrada belittled the warrant of arrest against him insisting that the administration is doing its best to destroy possible contenders for the upcoming elections.
He said the administration does not have a strong contender for the next election, "precisely why they are exerting all efforts to destroy those people who will be running for the 2016 and it is very evident."
Revilla and Estrada were reportedly eyeing the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.
Last Friday, plunder and graft charges against Revilla, Estrada and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile were raffled off by the Sandiganbayan.
According to reports, it will take 10 or more days for the Sandiganbayan justices to study the information and evidence that were submitted to them to determine if there is probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest and hold trial.
Enrile’s cases will be handled by Sandiganbayan’s Third Division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang while Estrada’s will go to the Fifth Division.
Those of Revilla will be handled by the First Division composed of associate justices Rodolfo Ponferrada, Efren Dela Cruz and Rafael Lagos.
But Sandiganbayan Executive Clerk Renato Bocar said the issuance of the arrest warrant against the three senators would not come as early as 10 days because the justices on the said cases need ample time to study the charges.
The three senators allegedly pocketed kickbacks by channeling their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) of Janet Napoles.
Enrile's camp filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Enrile and to allow him to post bail while Estrada asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the plunder case against him.
Enrile’s former chief of staff, lawyer Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, also asked the court to suspend proceedings until such time that the Supreme Court shall have ruled on her petition.
Enrile, who is 90 years old, invoked his advanced age and poor health that need daily attention in asking the Sandiganbayan to allow him to post bail in the event the anti-graft justices find probable cause on the plunder and graft cases. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)