Revilla family: Bong’s acquittal is ‘best Christmas gift’
(Updated to include the reaction of Bacoor City Mayor Lani Revilla)
MANILA, Philippines — Family and relatives of former Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. on Friday welcomed the Sandiganbayan’s “not guilty” verdict on his plunder case in relation to the multi-billion pesos pork barrel scam.
Revilla’s son, Jolo, said the family would have a “happy” Christmas because they would be able to celebrate it with his father after four years of being detained at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“Definitely masaya po ang Pasko dahil makakasama na po namin siya,” the younger Revilla told reporters outside the Sandiganbayan.
“Nagpapasalamat po kaming lahat sa mga sumusuporta kay Senator Bong. Maraming salamat sa inyong patuloy na pagmamahal at nararamdaman po namin yun,” he added.
Revilla’s wife, Bacoor City Mayor Lani, said the family was ecstatic upon getting word the court has rendered a not guilty decision.
“We are happy. At least tapos na yung paghihintay namin. We know the decision already,” the mayor said in a separate interview.
She said that Revilla still has some procedures to go through before obtaining freedom.
“I think there are still some procedures that we have to do today para makalabas po siya,” she added.
Best Christmas present
Cavite 2nd Dist. Rep. Strike Revilla said his older brother’s acquittal was the “best Christmas gift” to the Revilla family.
“Our family is thankful that Senator Bong will finally be free, and this is our best Christmas gift. We thank our God, the people of Cavite, and our supporters for this wonderful present,” he said in a statement.
The congressman said it was a great relief for the family to welcome Revilla home, as he asserted that his brother was incarcerated and denied justice for years. He then thanked the anti-graft court for being “fair.”
Andrea Bautista, the former senator’s sister, said their father was very happy that his brother was cleared of plunder charges.
“He’s (Ramon Revilla Sr.) very happy. Sobra sobra. Nagpakatay yata siya ng baboy at saka ng baka for Kuya Bong’s arrival,” Bautista told reporters in a separate interview.
“Hindi siya makapagsalita. He’s very happy,” she added./kga/ac
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