Bong wants show biz comeback, seeks bail
Detained former Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. wants to stage a comeback—in show business.
Revilla expressed this wish on Thursday, as his lawyer Estelito Mendoza disclosed his client’s plan to seek bail for the second time on the grounds of the slowness of his plunder trial.
“I miss show business. I want to return to acting,” said Revilla, who became famous for his action and fantasy movies, as well as GMA Network shows “Idol Ko si Kap” and “Indio.”
But Revilla did not express the same eagerness for a political comeback. “Public service, even if you’re not in politics, it’s still there.”
The former senator, accused of getting P224.5 million in kickbacks in exchange for diverting his pork barrel funds to dubious foundations, assailed his detention for three years.
“We have been detained for so long, it’s as if we are guilty already,” Revilla told reporters on the sidelines of his trial at the Sandiganbayan First Division.
In a separate interview, Mendoza said Revilla’s detention since June 2014 “has ceased to be preventive, but punitive.”
In serious offenses such as plunder, the accused is only allowed to post bail if the prosecution evidence is not strong enough to justify keeping him in detention.
Revilla already tried to petition for bail, but the antigraft court in December 2014 said the documents and testimonies by pork barrel scam whistleblowers provide ample proof to deny him temporary liberty.
This time, Mendoza said they are still thinking of a motion that may be anchored on the violation of Revilla’s right to a speedy trial instead.
“The only solution I can think of, and which is not certainly going to be prejudicial, is that when there is a delay such as this at the very least … the accused must at least be entitled to be released on bail,” said the renowned lawyer.
For his part, Revilla thanked President Duterte for sharing the view that the Ombudsman had prosecuted his case for too long.
“We thank President Duterte. At least, he observes it, too. All I ask for my countrymen is to pray, because there’s now clarity,” he said.
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