MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. shrugged off, on Thursday, potshots taken by President Benigno Aquino III against him in a speech endorsing the Liberal Party’s local candidates for Cavite province, call them “all politics.”
“Happy Birthday Mr. President. Thank you for taking time to visit our province,” the senator said in an e-mailed statement.
President Aquino celebrates his 53rd birthday on Friday.
“I salute you in your efforts to promote understanding, peace and unity in the country. “Mabuhay ka, Mr. President! May God bless you,” Revilla added.
Just a day earlier, Revilla described Mr. Aquino as “my friend (kaibigan ko)” during an informal discussion with Senate in his office in the Senate about his plans as newly elected chair of Lakas-CMD, which may tap him as standard bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.
“We don’t have a problem. This is all politics,” Revilla said.
Revilla also said then that Lakas would choose five senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party and endorse them, along with five others from the United Nationalist Alliance, during the local rallies of Lakas throughout the country.